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NDP pledges $10bn for child-care centres across Canada

Political parties that don’t have much of a chance of ever forming a government have the advantage of making outrageously expensive promises, the NDP is no exception. It’s leader Jagmeet Singh has promised to spend $10 billion over the next four years to create 500,000 new child-care spaces in Canada with the goal of offering free services for some parents.

Like in the case of Quebec, fees would be capped at $10 a day.

“Our goal is to get to universality, which is no cost for families that can’t afford it and low cost, like a $10-a-day cost, for those who can to make it affordable and make it accessible by 2030,” he said at a Vancouver day-care centre that offers $10-a-day care.

“We know this is bold and ambitious but it has to be done,” Singh said, adding the program would be enshrined in law so child care is available across the country, in urban, remote and rural areas.

That legislation would include provisions for training new child-care workers and ensuring they are paid appropriate wages.

The child-care centre at which Singh made his announcement is part of British Columbia’s $10-a-day child-care pilot project, which started last year.

Singh said his plan was inspired by that policy and aims to go beyond it by establishing free or low-cost childcare for all Canadian families by 2030.

Compared with the other federal parties’ child-care proposals, Ballantyne said only the New Democrats’ plan includes training of early child-care workers whose low wages and poor benefits often force them to leave their jobs, creating a “crisis” in the system.

It was the NDP campaign’s seventh straight day in British Columbia, where Singh has made several regionally focused announcements.

He said BC is important to him because of its national significance and large population and his own seat in Burnaby.

Most parents would be happy to have professional child care services at a price point that won’t break the bank, but what many would point out is it would be also nice if one parent with a dead-end job paying under a certain amount could qualify for some income support while he or she decided to look after their own children. As things stand, there are many two-income families where both have to work just in order to pay bills and a significant amount goes toward child care costs. -CINEWS

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