Speaking Points: What to say in your candidate meeting

  1. Introduction
  • Introduce yourselves: say what you do and where you are from
  • Thank the candidate for meeting with you
  • Confirm how long you have for the meeting
  • Say that you are here as part of a coalition of parents, educators and organizations concerned about the child care crisis
  • Indicate what you want to get out of the meeting: To share your perspective on child care in Canada and ask for commitments to move forward on fixing the child care crisis
  1. The child care system in Canada is in crisis
  • Child care fees are too high for most families (on average, parents spend a quarter of their take home pay on child care)
  • There are far too few licensed child care spaces for families that need them, and for the right ages in the right places (if you have them, you can add city or region-specific information about waitlists here)
  • We have a child care workforce crisis in Canada, where low wages, poor retention rates, and obstacles to training and recruitment stand in the way of quality and space expansion
  • *If you have one, you can share a personal story about yourself, or a family member who had difficulty finding licensed child care due to cost, availability, needs.
  1. What the Federal government/federal Parliament can do:


If the candidate is Liberal:

  • Your government’s Multilateral Framework Agreement has been a very positive first step; the first time in a decade that the federal government has provided ear-marked funds for child care.
  • We especially welcome the action you have taken on indigenous learning and child care.
  • We are here to talk about the second phase of this process – the next round of three-year bilateral agreements.
  • In order to actually address affordability, quality and access we need significantly more investment: Paul Martin’s government committed to $5 billion over 5 years in 2005. This type of investment brings us closer to the internationally accepted benchmark of spending 1% of GDP on child care (roughly an additional $1 billion each year).
  • The next round of agreements should require the provinces and territories to build a fully funded publicly-managed child care system that is inclusive of all children, and accessible and affordable for all families.
  • We know that your government values gender equality. We also know that having access to affordable child care is one of the most effective ways to increase women’s participation in the paid labour force and close the gender pay gap.
  • We also want to see federal child care legislation introduced to cement the federal government’s commitment to child care, just the way the Canada Health Act cemented the right to Medicare in Canada.

 

If the candidate is Conservative:

  • We both know that child care is a good investment. Even the governor of the Bank of Canada says that a subsidized child-care program will significantly boost the Canadian economy by increasing women’s participation in the paid labour force.
  • But in order to realize these economic benefits, the funding needs to be substantial enough to create enough spaces that are sufficiently affordable so that parents (especially mothers) decide to go back to full-time work.
  • With the Multilateral Framework Agreement, the federal government took a first step. Most of the agreements with the provinces and territories, however, are not bold enough. They won’t do enough to significantly expand access or increase affordability. In the next phase, the government needs to increase Canada’s early learning and child care budget each year by $1 billion until funding levels meet widely-accepted international spending benchmarks of 1% of GDP on child care.
  • The next round of agreements should require the provinces and territories to build a fully funded publicly-managed child care system that is inclusive of all children, and accessible and affordable for all families.
  • This investment needs to be dedicated to expansion of licensed child care.

 

If the candidate is NDP:

The Liberal government has done more for child care than the Harper government did in the previous decade, but we both know it isn’t enough.

  • A government truly dedicated to gender-equality would make proper investment in child care. It would increase Canada’s early learning and child care budget by $1 billion each year over the next 10 years in order to move towards the international benchmark of 1 per cent of GDP.
  • This investment needs to be dedicated to expansion for licensed and non-profit child care.
  • The next round of agreements should require the provinces and territories to build a fully funded publicly-managed child care system that is inclusive of all children, and accessible and affordable for all families.
  • We also want to see federal child care legislation introduced to cement the federal government’s commitment to child care, just the way the Canada Health Act cemented the right to Medicare in Canada.

 

If the candidate is Green:

  • The Green Party has stated how important child care is for Canadians.
  • If the government is truly dedicated to gender-equality they need to make proper investment in child care. They need to increase Canada’s early learning and child care budget each year by $1 billion over 10 years – to meet international benchmarks.
  • This investment needs to be dedicated to expansion for licensed and non-profit child care.
  • The next round of agreements should require the provinces and territories to build a fully funded publicly-managed child care system that is inclusive of all children, and accessible and affordable for all families.
  • The expansion of child care is critical to a healthy green economy. Public investments in a publicly managed child care system would create tens of thousands of green jobs.
  • We also want to see federal child care legislation introduced to cement the federal government’s commitment to child care, just the way the Canada Health Act cemented the right to Medicare in Canada.
  1. Closing/commitment
  • Ask the candidate to commit to advocating for increased funding for child care, with a 10-year goal of child care for all – a child care system that gives every child the right to early learning and child care.
  • Remind them that you are here as part of a coalition looking for “child care champions.” Ask if they will have their photo taken with you and the frame/sign indicating that they are a #childcarechampion and committed to #affordablechildcare.
  • Thank them for meeting with you, leave behind a copy of the Affordable Child Care for All Plan.

 

Information to include in letters to candidates

Needed: Child care champions who will advocate for affordable, quality child care for all

Why we are here:

As part of the Child Care for All campaign, parents, educators and others passionate about child care issues are meeting with candidates to urge the next federal government to take the next step on child care

The Multilateral Framework and child care agreements between the federal government and provinces/ territories have been a very positive first step; the first time in a decade that the federal government has been involved in child care. We support this and are here to talk about the second phase of this process – the next round of three-year bilateral agreements.

The child care crisis remains a reality for far too many families. In every province and territory:

  • Child care fees are too high for most families;
  • There is a child care workforce crisis, with low wages, poor retention rates, and obstacles to training and recruitment that stand in the way of quality and space expansion;
  • There are far too few licensed child care spaces for families that need them, and for the right ages in the right places.

What we need:

To fix these problems, we need the next federal government to implement the second phase of improving child care and play an even greater leadership role in building a stable child care system for all. Federal funding for early learning and child care must be boosted significantly. The federal government’s next agreements with provinces/territories must set out action on three fronts simultaneously:

  1. Making child care affordable.
  2. Improving quality and stability through public spending on the workforce, including improving the wages in the child care sector.
  3. Expansion through licensed public and non-profit child care.

How to get there – what the federal government can do:

  • Make a commitment to a 10-year goal of child care for all – a child care system that every child has the right to access.
  • Increase Canada’s early learning and child care budget each year by $1 billion over 10 years – to meet international benchmarks.
  • Negotiate agreements that require the provinces and territories to build a fully funded publicly-managed child care system that is inclusive of all children, and accessible and affordable for all families.

To help solve the child care crisis we need you to commit to be a child care champion and advocate for quality, affordable child care.

Thank you.

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