Canada and Yukon announce major expansion of $10 a day child care
Ottawa: Every child deserves the best possible start in life, and all parents should have the ability to build both a family and career. Yet, too many families across Canada lack access to affordable, inclusive, and high-quality child care. The global COVID-19 pandemic has also made it clear that without access to child care, too many parents – especially women – cannot fully participate in the workforce.
Today, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, the Honourable Sandy Silver, Yukon Premier, and the Honourable Jeanie McLean, Yukon Minister of Education, announced an agreement that significantly improves early learning and child care for children in Yukon. Through the agreement, the governments of Canada and Yukon will work together to rapidly expand access to quality, affordable, flexible, and inclusive early learning and child care programs and services.
In the recent federal budget, the Government of Canada laid out a transformative plan to build a Canada-wide, community-based system of quality early learning and child care that provides parents in Canada with, on average, $10 a day regulated child care spaces for children under age six. This plan will make life more affordable for families, create new jobs, get parents back into the workforce, and grow the middle class, while giving every child the best possible start in life.
Today’s announcement includes the creation of 110 new regulated early learning and child care spaces within five years to help ensure families of children under six years old can access child care spaces that meet their needs. The Government of Canada’s investment builds on Yukon’s efforts to date to ensure that all families have access to an average of $10 a day out-of-pocket parent fees for full-time regulated child care spaces for children under age six.
This agreement will fund critical services, and attract, retain and grow a strong and skilled workforce of early childhood educators, including through greater opportunities for professional development. This agreement also supports the ongoing implementation of Yukon’s wage grid, which provides a minimum wage of nearly $30 an hour to fully qualified early childhood educators— the highest minimum wage for early childhood educators in the country.
Federal funding will be exclusively used to support the creation of regulated spaces in not-for-profit and public early learning and child care providers, as well as family-based providers. The agreement will also support an early learning and child care system that is fully inclusive of children with disabilities and children needing enhanced or individual supports, and ensures all families have equitable access to high quality, affordable early learning and child care. The agreement also supports a clear commitment to continue to work collaboratively with Yukon First Nations to ensure Indigenous children will have access to affordable, high-quality and culturally appropriate early learning and child care.
Since 2015, through programs like the Canada Child Benefit which has recently once again been indexed to inflation, the government has been helping make life more affordable for families.