Montreal – Child care costs across Canada are set to hit $10 a day by 2026, thanks to the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care agreements signed between the federal, provincial and territorial governments. As governments plan their implementation strategies, a new report from the Institute for Research on Public Policy puts forward four key recommendations based on an analysis of the past 30 years of child care in the country.
In a new paper, University of Toronto professor emeritus Gordon Cleveland analyzes indicators of affordability, accessibility and quality of child care in Canada from the 1980s to today. He finds significant progress in many areas. But child care fees have continued to rise over time – and there has been mixed progress across provinces and territories on staff-child ratios, wages for early childhood educators and funding for low-income families.
Cleveland puts forward four recommendations to ensure governments will be able to hit the $10 a day target on schedule and improve quality.
“If the rest of Canada is going to avoid many of the teething problems Quebec faced in building an affordable child care system,” Cleveland cautions, “federal, provincial and territorial governments need to take proactive steps to ensure that the quality and accessibility of care are not harmed in the process. We are at the beginning of this new stage of the journey, rather than at the end; it is no time to relax and declare victory.”
Early Learning and Child Care in Canada: Where Have We Come From, Where Are We Going? by Gordon Cleveland can be downloaded from the IRPP’s website (irpp.org).
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