The Government of Canada’s early learning and child care plan is already putting money back in the pockets of Canadian families, while helping parents – particularly mothers – rejoin the workforce and grow our economy. In almost half of provinces and territories, we have already reached our goal of delivering $10-a-day child care for families – three years ahead of schedule. In all other provinces and territories, fees have been cut by at least half, and we are on track to achieve $10-a-day child care by 2026.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced the establishment of the Early Learning and Child Care Infrastructure Fund to help public and not-for-profit child care providers deliver affordable child care for families by funding the cost of physical infrastructure needed to create more spaces like real estate and building materials. This new Fund will provide an additional $625 million to provinces and territories to create spaces in communities that currently do not have enough of them.
The Fund will support child care spaces for underserved communities, including in rural and remote regions, high-cost and low-income urban neighbourhoods, and communities that face barriers to access, such as racialized groups, Indigenous Peoples, official language minority communities, newcomers, as well as parents, caregivers, and children with disabilities.
As we work towards making $10-a-day child care a reality for families across the country, we have committed to creating an additional 250,000 child care spaces. To achieve that goal, this funding will support the planning, design, construction, and renovation of non-profit child care spaces by provinces and territories. It will also provide the flexibility to invest in physical infrastructure for early learning and child care operators providing care during non-standard hours.
Across the country, our child care plan is already putting thousands of dollars back in the pockets of hardworking families. It is also growing our economy, with a record percentage of Canadian women currently in the workforce. The Government of Canada will continue to work with the provinces and territories, early learning and child care providers and educators, Indigenous Peoples, and other partners, on the road to making $10-a-day child care a reality right across the country.
“Affordable child care is common sense. It’s good for parents and their kids, and it’s good for our economy. We have already made great progress, with thousands of child care spaces already created and a record percentage of women participating in the workforce. Confident countries invest in themselves and their future – and today’s announcement allows us to continue to build on this progress and deliver on our promise of $10-a-day child care for Canadian families.”
“We know that for many parents, finding child care spaces can be stressful, and often results in long waitlists. That is why space creation is a key pillar of our child care plan. The Early Learning and Child Care Infrastructure Fund will support child care providers so they can keep offering high-quality, affordable, flexible, and inclusive early learning and child care across the country. We also know that our child care system would not be possible without the incredible early childhood workforce, and we will continue to work with provinces and territories to provide the supports and programs they need to succeed.”
- The Early Learning and Child Care Infrastructure Fund aims to address concerns from provinces and territories related to infrastructure funding for not-for-profit and public providers, including the cost of real estate and building materials. The Fund will exclusively support not-for-profit and publicly regulated early learning and child care providers in recognition of the specific challenges they face in financing capital costs.
- The Fund takes into account the unique infrastructure challenges faced by territories, including the high cost of supplies, a shorter construction season, skilled workforce shortages, and a lack of municipal infrastructure, which leads to higher costs to build and renovate child care spaces.
- Through existing federal investments in a Canada-wide early learning and child care system, the Government of Canada is aiming to create approximately 250,000 new child care spaces through Canada-wide agreements with provinces and territories. These new spaces will be predominantly among licensed not-for-profit, public, and family-based child care providers.
- Quebec has been a pioneer in early learning and child care in Canada, and this new funding will be part of an asymmetrical agreement with the province of Quebec that will allow Quebec to further improve its child care system.
- Investments in child care will benefit all Canadians. Studies show that for every dollar invested in early childhood education, the broader economy receives between $1.50 and $2.80 in return.
- A recent report from TD Economics found that the labour force participation rate among women with children under the age of six has skyrocketed since the pandemic – with roughly 111,000 additional women working since 2020. This is closely correlated with improved access to affordable child care.
- As part of Budget 2021, the Government of Canada made a transformative investment of over $27 billion over five years to build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system with provinces and territories. Combined with other investments, including in Indigenous early learning and child care, up to $30 billion over five years will be provided in support of early learning and child care.
- A minimum of $9.2 billion will be provided on an ongoing basis, as of 2025-26, for early learning and child care and Indigenous early learning and child care.