Families are the foundation and driving force of our country. Helping hard-working, middle-class families provide the best start in life for their children is a top priority for the Government of Canada.
Every Canadian should have access to quality, affordable and inclusive child care, no matter where they live. That is why the Government has taken concrete actions and made significant investments in early learning and child care.
The Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework will provide approximately 40,000 new subsidized child care spaces across the country. Additional day care spaces help reduce wait times for families and extended opening hours make life easier for parents who work seasonal or non-standard hours. Newly funded spaces are also being created with consideration for families more in need, such as lower-income families, lone-parent families, families in underserved communities, families with children with varying abilities, and Indigenous families.
Access to high-quality, culturally appropriate early learning and child care is a fundamental component in improving socio-economic outcomes for Indigenous families. The co-developed Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework will complement the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework. It will strengthen early learning and child care for all Indigenous children through partnerships with First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation to implement their visions for their children and communities.
The social and economic benefits of better early learning and child care are real. Accessible, affordable, high-quality child care is essential to early childhood development, labour force participation of parents, women’s equality, social integration and inclusion of newcomers—all aspects of social and economic growth. With increased support for early learning and child care, more Canadian parents can pursue new opportunities to work and learn, and build a better future for themselves and their children.
These investments, which are in addition to the Canada Child Benefit, are supporting middle-class families and ensuring that all children have a fair chance to succeed. Reflecting on National Family Week, the Government of Canada is looking forward to doing more to support middle-class families and those families working hard to join the middle class.
- Important investments in early learning and child care will create approximately 40,000 subsidized child care spaces across the country by March 2020.
- The Government of Canada entered into bilateral agreements with the provinces and territories to provide them with $1.2 billion over three years for early learning and child care programs, starting in 2017–18.
- Since early learning and child care needs vary across the country, provincial and territorial governments are prioritizing programs and services that meet their particular local and regional needs.
- To better support Canadian families, especially those in need, budgets 2016 and 2017 proposed to invest $7.5 billion over 11 years, starting in 2017–18, to support and create more high-quality, affordable child care across the country. Of this investment:
- up to $1.7 billion over 10 years, starting in 2018–19, will support the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework, and will strengthen early learning and child care programs and services for Indigenous children and families;
- $95 million will go towards closing data gaps to better understand child care challenges and needs and track progress; and
- $100 million will go towards early learning and child care innovation.
- Thanks to the Canada Child Benefit, 9 out of 10 Canadian families have more money to help pay for things like healthy food, sports programs and music lessons.
- The Canada Child Benefit has helped lift more than half a million people—including nearly 300,000 children—out of poverty in Canada.
- Across Canada, Canada Child Benefit payments worth $23.6 billion benefit nearly 3.7 million Canadian families.