Federal Election 2019
This information is intended to raise the level of discourse and awareness about Early Learning and Child Care in the upcoming federal election on October 21, 2019. This page will be updated regularly with each political party’s commitment to Canadian children, families, and educators.
This resource is non-partisan and for informational purposes only.
Green Party of Canada
Greens believe it is time to put the interests of our children at the centre of decision-making. If a policy works for our children, it works for our society. Greens will appoint a federal Children’s Advocate to ensure that children’s rights are protected. Far too many children are in care. Far too many children are in poverty. And far too many of those children are Indigenous. Every Canadian child deserves equal services, from early childhood education to adulthood.
Meanwhile, families need child care. Universal child care is fundamental for women’s equality –the “ramp to equality in the workplace for women.”
Canada needs a plan – a road map to affordable child care for all children. A Green government will collaborate with provinces/territories, local communities, Indigenous communities and the child-care sector to ensure that a comprehensive short-, medium- and long-term policy road map – based on the principles of universality, affordability, quality, inclusivity and equity – finally becomes a reality.
Canada must dedicate additional resources to making a universal, affordable, early learning and child-care (ELCC) system a reality. It cannot occur without public funding. Canada needs an ELCC system that contributes to a green Canada. Thus, a Green Party government's child care plan will provide the early educator jobs that sustain local communities. It will also recognize that sparsely and unevenly available child-care services force parents to take out-of-their-way routes to child care and work, often by car. Green Party plans for child care take into account not only parents' convenience but also climate goals. Location of child care must reflect the diversity of family needs and be placed along existing public transit routes, including neighbourhood schools, other local buildings, workplaces and transportation hubs.
The best evidence suggests that ELCC is best situated within the context of other policies that support families and children. A Green Party government will follow the example of Quebec and other countries, improving and strengthening maternity/parental leave by making it more inclusive, more flexible and better paid.
Well-designed ELCC is also fundamental to meeting broader equity and social justice goals, for fighting poverty, as a foundation for children's life-long learning, and as part of the backbone of a thriving society. Quality child care yields high social and economic returns in the short and long term by:
· Supporting women’s workforce participation, education and training.
· Strengthening children’s health, development and well-being in the early years to provide a strong foundation for learning and living in later years.
· Strengthening inclusion and respect for diversity for children with disabilities, diverse ethnic and racial groups, newcomers and disadvantaged Canadians.
· Countering Canada’s slide towards being a more unequal society.
A Green Party government will immediately begin to ramp up federal child care funding to achieve the international benchmark of at least one per cent of GDP annually, adding an additional $1 billion each year until this benchmark is reached with a mature ELCC system. We will eliminate GST on all construction costs related to child-care spaces.
Source: Green Party Platform
Progressive Conservative Party of Canada
The Progressive Conservative party has pledged to maintain Liberal initiatives — it would continue with the Canada Child Benefit and increase social transfer payments by at least three per cent every year, which helps provinces and territories finance childcare and early learning. Leader Andrew Scheer made a new promise to make Employment Insurance benefits for new parents tax-free.
Source: PC Party Platform
Liberal Party of Canada
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said a re-elected Liberal government would establish a secretariat to "work with the provinces" to "lay the groundwork for a pan-Canadian child care system. It would:
Create up to 250,000 more before and after school spaces for kids under the age of 10 (source)
Lower parents’ child care fees by 10 per cent across the country (source)
Dedicate a target of ten per cent of the new spaces to provide more child care options for parents who work overtime, late shifts, or multiple jobs (source)
Double federal support to the provinces and territories through the Early Learning and Child Care Framework, investing at least $535 million more each year (source)
Invest at least $25 million per year to help cover the costs for early childhood educators seeking further training, and lower tuition costs for people getting their early childhood educator degree (source)
Establish a national secretariat to work with the provinces and territories to lay the groundwork for a pan-Canadian child care system (source)
Give up to $1,000 more to families to help when the costs of raising kids are highest, by boosting the Canada Child Benefit by 15 per cent for children under the age of one (source)
Introduce a 15-week leave for adoptive parents (source)
Sources: MacLean’s Magazine and CBC
New Democratic Party of Canada
New Democrats would commit $1 billion to affordable, not-for-profit child care in 2020 and increase it yearly. They plan to build on child-care programs already in place in some provinces, including Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta. The party also would like to implement a national school nutrition program — something the Liberals are also considering.
Source: NDP Platform