4.3 Child care

Canadian families need access to affordable, high-quality child care as an aspect of early childhood education. There are also clear benefits to maximizing time together for parents with young children. Canadians want a program with flexibility. A cheque for $160/month does not begin to address these needs.

The Greens are committed to a high-quality federally-funded child care program in Canada, accessible to any family that wants to place children into early childhood education. Workplace child care has been shown to improve productivity, decrease employee absenteeism, ensure quality care for children (because parents can ‘drop in’ at any time to see their young children), and permits longer breast-feeding of infants. Work-place child care spaces create other benefits. Emerging literature indicates small children benefit enormously from time with their mothers, especially when very young.

The beneficent spiral of providing workplace child care also includes making it easier for many working Canadians to use mass transit. When parents and children travel to the same destination, the trip can often be made in less time on public transit, enabling parents to spend more time with children.

Green Party MPs will:

  • Restore and revamp the 2005 agreement reached between the federal government, provinces, and territories to achieve a universal access child care program in Canada;

  • Create a national Children’s Commissioner, as recommended by UNICEF, to ensure children’s best interests are considered in policy development and that services across the country are better coordinated;

  • Specifically ensure that Canada’s universal child care program provides workplace child care spaces wherever possible;

  • Tax shift to make advertising directed at children ineligible for corporate tax write-offs;

  • Accelerate the creation of workplace child care spaces through a direct tax credit to employers (or groups of employers in small businesses) of $1500 tax credit/child per year;

  • Value the decisions of parents who choose to stay home with children;

  • Promote and facilitate access to the Roots of Empathy Program, an effective, award-winning program developed by a non-profit educational organization, to all Canadian children at some point in their elementary school years.