With a national child care program back on the front burner, it’s time we talk about the links between child care and child poverty.
Here’s the bottom line: affordable and reliable child care in Canada could help lift 300,000 children under six, and their low and modest income families, out of poverty.
Today, very few such families have access to regulated, high-quality and affordable child care. Instead, these families compete for regulated daycare spaces accessible to only about one in five children under six years old, most of which come with costs beyond their reach.
Columnist Andrew Coyne is a huge fan of the Conservative government's new income splitting proposal. It's in the interest of fairness, you see. Single-earner couples, so his logic goes, aren't getting a fair shake in being taxed more than their dual-earner couple counterparts with the same total income.
By now, however, we are familiar with some of the patently unfair aspects of the Conservative scheme. There's the fact that the tax giveaway stands to exclude single parent families that need the most help. Or that even with the $2,000 cap, benefits from income splitting will accrue disproportionately to wealthy single-earner families.
Canadians have long grappled with the meanings and purposes of child care.
As Canadians gather for ChildCare2020 -- the country's fourth national child care policy conference -- in Winnipeg on November 13, it’s worthwhile to reflect on how child care debates have unfolded over the past several decades, and particularly how the three previous national conferences -- in 1971, 1982, and 2004 -- acted as important landmarks in the sometimes-rocky landscape of Canadian child care history.
No doubt about it — the federal NDP has moved childcare front and centre.
Reaction to the party’s childcare proposal elicited a wide range of responses. The Twittersphere and traditional media exploded after Tom Mulcair’s press conference last week as fans and foes of a universal, affordable, national childcare system debated whether such a system is needed or wanted — and whose responsibility childcare is anyway?
Perhaps most interesting was the backlash the proposal elicited with respect to the unfairness of allowing wealthier families to participate.