Urgent Open Letter to Canada’s P/T Ministers – Coordinated Early Learning and Child Care Planning on COVID-19

    The CCCF with the support of its pan-Canadian affiliates have sent an open letter to all Ministers–federal, provincial and territorial–responsible for Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) calling for coordinated action and initiatives between governments specific to ELCC.

    Open Letter to PT Ministers March 25, 2020

    CCCF’s Essential ECEs

    Supporting Canada’s ELCC sector, download a copy of the CCCF’s Essential ECEs image for printing and social media here.

    Open Letter to Canada’s Premiers — Early Learning and Child Care Planning COVID-19

    The Canadian Child Care Federation is calling on all provincial and territorial governments across Canada to take immediate action to protect and mitigate the possible effects of COVID-19 for all children, Canada’s ELCC workforce and families.

    Open Letter to Canada’s Premiers

    March 16, 2020

    Open Letter to Canada’s Premiers — Early Learning and Child Care Planning COVID-19:

    Most of your governments have or will be announcing COVID-19 plans and strategies to minimize and mitigate risk and transmission specific to children in schools. Outside of Quebec, PEI, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta is the absence of plans specific to the Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) sector. It is a serious omission as the safety and security of all children and the Early Childhood Educators (ECE’s) who care for them in intimate, close contact each and every day, as well as their families are just as worthy of fulsome COVID-19 mitigation and planning.

    Public health decisions affecting children must include all children — not just those that are enrolled in the public-school system. Understanding that ELCC programs are not a part of public system as schools are, they are still subject to provincial/territorial/municipal regulations, licensing and funding and as such, are within the purview of public safety plans.

    Closing schools and classrooms while still keeping child care programs open, no matter where they are situated, does not satisfy a holistic approach to children’s welfare. It also does not recognize the reality of spaces used, group sizes and the very act of caring for children. Further, it shows little regard to the women and men that work in Canada’s ELCC sector.

    Of serious concern and counter to what the Canadian Government’s social distance policy is trying to achieve, ELCC programs across Canada will feel tremendous pressure to remain open in order to meet the urgent child care demands of families. Without adequate financial supports in place to support their temporary closing and to ensure the continued economic security of the ELCC workforce, many programs will feel compelled to continue their operations, despite the immediate safety concerns.

    We urgently recommend that immediate federal, provincial and territorial funding be dedicated to support program closures, and aid the ECE workforce and families that are impacted—so that Canada’s ELCC sector can follow the immediate call for social distancing protocols.

    All children, ELCC programs and families deserve no less that your full planning consideration. The window to significantly alter the effect and impact of the COVID-19 virus is quickly closing—we need to fully act now, not when it is too late.

    Sincerely,

    Don Giesbrecht

    CEO

     

    Cc: The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau Hon. Ahmed Hussen, Hon. Bill Morneau, Hon Maryam Monsef, Hon. Chrystia Freeland

     

    Child Care Fees in Canada 2019

    In Progress Child care fees in Canada 2019

    Via the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) and the Child Care Resource and research Unit (CRRU)

    This study, the sixth in an annual series, provides a snapshot of the median child care fees parents pay in 37 cities across Canada for full-time licensed child care of infants, toddlers and preschool-age children. Fees were surveyed in October 2019. With the addition of nine new cities, for the first time this year’s survey provides child care fee data for locations in all provinces and territories.

    Though child care fees remain unaffordable across the country, policy initiatives clearly make a difference. Various levels of government have attempted different child care fee interventions, some of which have been more successful than others. Yet by and large, these initiatives do not achieve the goal of providing access to sustained, affordable and high quality child care for a substantial number of families.

    Le rapport en français est disponible içi. 

    Impacting Child Care in Canada

    Canada’s Federal Funding for Child Care

    Positive Impacts on Quality

    In 2017-2018 the Government of Canada made

    history, signing bilateral agreements on Early Leaning and Child Care (ELCC) with all provinces and territories. Of specific significance, signed in September 2018 was the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework. This agreement represents the Government of Canada’s and Indigenous peoples’ work to co-develop a transformative Indigenous framework that reflects the unique cultures, aspirations and needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis children across Canada.

    The Canadian Child Care Federation (CCCF), along with its affiliates, were pleased to provide support to Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Jean-Yves Duclos, in the first steps towards moving child care forward in Canada. Federal funding is supporting quality in child care in provinces and territories and has had an impact. The current agreements are a start in the government’s support of ELCC in Canada and increased funding and further policy development must be implemented so that Canada’s children, families and ELCC sector can better address the interrelated elements of high-quality child care.

    The CCCF is pleased to highlight some stories from across the country of how the bilateral agreements have positively impacted children and families in Canada’s child care sector.

    Early Childhood Education and Care 2016

    Martha Friendly’s Childcare Research and Resource Unit’s 11th edition (English only) of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) in Canada (2016). The data-based report includes a portrait of each province and territory’s ECEC programs and services, as well as pertinent demographic data and details related to child care, kindergarten and parental leave.

    Download PDF

    Canadian Child Care Federation Applauds Ontario’s Child Care Investment and Plan — Moving Ontario and Canada on the path toward a system of high quality, affordable early years and child care

    March 27, 2018

    Today’s announcement from Ontario to invest a new $2.2 billion to child care to help support the implementation of free child care for preschool children is a strong and progressive step for children and families in Canada. The provincial government is addressing quality like never before, including the commitment to create a transparent and competitive wage scale for early childhood educators and child care staff.

    Federal leadership over the last year to invest in child care and signing agreements with the provinces, territories and Indigenous communities has started the ball rolling. Together, the federal government’s funding commitments along with provincial and territorial investments and policy support will ensure that children benefit from high-quality programs delivered by a well-educated and well-compensated child care workforce, a key element of quality.

    “Across Canada, we are seeing the provinces and territories make new and enhanced investments in child care. This collective leadership helps to ensure high quality, affordable, inclusive and accessible child care for children and families”, said CCCF Chair, Marni Flaherty. “There continues to be much to do, but we are headed in the right direction.”

    Don Giesbrecht,
    CEO Canadian Child Care Federation
    613-729-5289 (220)

    Financing Funds Directly to Child Care Is Key to Gender Equality in Canada

    Today’s budget announcement by Finance Minister Morneau to add a new five-week, use-it-or-lose-it incentive for the second parent to take parental leave and share the responsibilities of raising their young child is good family policy for Canada but does little to help women enter the workforce and make having a family or life itself affordable. If the Trudeau Government truly wants to help the middle classes and women’s equality as its party line touts, then it must make higher direct investments to child care.

    Many Canadian studies and reports show that of any policy geared to help struggling families, investments for high-quality child care has the biggest economic payoff for parents and their children. Investment in child care pays for itself. It has compounding positive effects on women’s employment and pay. And it goes even further for low-income families.

    Research such as Pierre Fortin’s in Quebec, shows that funding child care directly will much better position women to participate fully in the work force and hence stimulate the economy.

    Canadian women and parents know too well how paying for child care for young children while they go to work is painfully expensive. A new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives on the rising cost of child care concludes that the typical family with young children spends about a third of its income on fees — this is about $21,096 a year on average in cities like Toronto — more than triple the average tuition cost to put an older child through university for one year.

    This budget announcement on parental leave is a well-intentioned effort toward closing the gap on gender equality but does not directly address the rapidly rising cost of child care and early education programs. And it does nothing for the quality and accessibility of child care at all. It is time for our government to invest adequately in child care and for Canada.

    Don Giesbrecht,
    CEO Canadian Child Care Federation
    613-729-5289 (220)