Federal budget for child care good start, but more needed: advocates

OTTAWA – Feminist advocates say the federal budget doesn’t fully account for the challenges in scaling up child-care systems across the country.

Morna Ballantyne, executive director of advocacy group Child Care Now, says in a feminist budget briefing that the government’s fund for building new child-care spaces will only pay for 3,125 new spots each year.

The budget says it would give $625 million over four years to help provinces and territories invest in child care, including building new facilities.

Ballantyne says creating new child-care spaces involves high capital costs that aren’t accounted for in the funding agreements with the provinces, and the new budget’s fund wouldn’t be enough to build the number of spaces it has estimated.

The federal Liberal budget for 2022 says its funding would create just over 276,000 child-care spaces across the country.

Amar Nijhawan, policy specialist at Oxfam Canada, says the budget lacks a workforce strategy for child-care and early childhood educators.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 8, 2022.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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