The provincial government announced today new funding to support $25 a day child care within the province. Questions remain as to how this program is going to expand access to and ensure the delivery of quality child care services across Newfoundland and Labrador.
“Lack of child care is a stumbling block for many parents, especially women, trying to get back into the work force, and we need to do more,” said NDP Leader Alison Coffin. “Since the COVID-19 shutdown, women’s participation in the Canadian work force has dropped to levels not seen in 30 years.”
There are about 8,500 regulated spaces for pre-school/school-age children in a province with 21,000 children under the age of five. Quality, affordable child care programs help all children enter kindergarten on a level playing field. Studies show that such programs result in better cognitive, language and numeracy skills.
“For many years, the NDP has been calling for a gradual transition to a universal, quality, publicly managed child care model,” said Coffin. “What we often see is primary parenting duties in a household falling to women when they then have to choose between caring for their children, and developing their careers.”
The provincial government announcement today falls short of any plan to increase the number of available, affordable, quality child care seats across the province. Questions remains if this program goes far enough to lift up those who need it the most.
“You need only run the math on one child, twenty days a month, at $25 a day to realize that a single parent needs to work over 40 hours to pay for one month of childcare,” Coffin said today. “Add increasing hydro costs, precarious food security and the reality for many of our neighbours becomes clearer – we must do more!”
For further information:
Eddy St. Coeur, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus
729-2137 (o), 693-9172 (c), firstname.lastname@example.org