Pre-budget finance consultations push for an increase in accessible child care

The Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada (CCAAC) and its partners were pleased to participate in the Standing Committee on Finance’s pre-budget consultations in advance of the 2018 federal budget. The Committee requested organizations and individuals address two questions specifically:

  • What federal measures would help Canadians be more productive,
  • What federal measures would help Canadian businesses be more productive and competitive?

Our answer to both questions is for a significant increase in the child care federal spending already allocated, accompanied by an expanded and more detailed evidence-based policy framework, with the goal of making high quality child care fully accessible to all families and inclusive of all children in every part of Canada over the next decade.

Our long-standing position on the strong link between productivity, women’s employment and accessible child care is affirmed by The International Monetary Fund’s recently published study, Women are key for future growth: Evidence from Canada. The study’s authors find that increased women’s employment would have a significant impact on labour productivity but cites data suggesting that high child care fees outside Quebec act as a disincentive for women to work.

The IMF researchers confirm what numerous studies have shown: child care services play a critical role in allowing the full potential of the female labour force to be tapped. Yet, Canada’s early childhood education and child care policies are weak, with Canada spending very little relative to other advanced economies.

Taking this into account, child care advocacy groups from across Canada have submitted our recommendations to the Standing Committee on Finance to increase productivity of Canadians and Canadian businesses.