Province’s families need affordable child care, says Michael

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) says the changes the provincial government is making to the provincial Child Care Act may be necessary, but government is still not addressing the major problem for many families in the province – the amount of money child care costs.

Yesterday in the House of Assembly, Michael asked the provincial government to commit, as Ontario has, to a public child care program proposed by national Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair. She did not receive a clear answer one way or the other, so today she tried again.

“Ontario has agreed to a federal/provincial public child care program. Canadian provinces have been waiting 20 years for a national child care program,” Michael said in the House today.

“I ask the Premier, what is this government going to do to make a cost-shared public child care program a reality?”

Michael points out, as numerous studies have, that investing in early childhood education can be an economic boost for a society.

“Canadian studies have proven for every dollar spent on early childhood education the benefits can be as high as $2.78,” she said.

“Why won’t government fund a program proven to make economic sense?”

Michael says the provincial government is stopping short of creating a public child care service for the families of this province. She says she hears regularly, and increasingly, from parents who decide not to return to the paid workforce because of the non-availability of affordable child care.

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