Families are at the center of our government’s child care investments. For too many families in our community, the lack of affordable, high-quality child care means difficult choices—some may leave their careers because child care is unavailable or unaffordable. Through Budget 2017, our government is fulfilling its promise to increase support for early learning and child care. This will give Canadian children the best start in life and support Canadian families who need it most.
Budget 2017 proposes to invest $7 billion over 10 years to support and create more high quality, affordable child care spaces across the country. This is in addition to the $500 million for early learning and child care in Budget 2016. To ensure no child gets left behind, a portion of these investments will be dedicated to early learning and child care programs for Indigenous children living on- and off-reserve.
As a government, we are investing $100 million in to Early Learning and Child Care Innovation. This means parents can be at the center of their children’s care by working with the government to tell us what will make the biggest impact. This translates to more child care spaces and greater career flexibility for parents with young children. This will allow us to understand what child care looks like in Canada to support families both today and that child care can continuously improve in the future.
In addition, a distinct Indigenous Framework on Early Learning and Child Care will be created in cooperation with Indigenous partners. The distinct Indigenous framework will reflect the unique cultures and needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis children across Canada.
Over the next three years, these investments could:
- Increase the number of affordable child care spaces for low- and modest income families by supporting up to 40,000 new subsidized child care spaces.
- Make it more affordable for parents to pursue new opportunities to learn and to work, with thousands of parents more likely to enter the labour force once child care is made more affordable.
- Ensure Canadian families across Canada have better access to high-quality, affordable child care, with the Government working with the provinces and territories.
- Focusing on best practices and new approaches to best serve families by creating a National Framework on Early Learning and Child Care.
With stronger skills and more work experience under their belts, families can focus on what matters most—building a better future. When families have the best choices for how their children get child care then all children get the best start in life.