Better child care for more families on Prince Edward Island
With that, let me say how great it is to be back in Prince Edward Island, how great it was to be able to spend a little time with some kids and to meet some amazing parents and teachers who are so key to building the kind of community and the kind of future we need in this country.
We’re here at the Island Montessori Academy in Cornwall to announce investments that will deliver real results for families on PEI and help make life more affordable.
We’re here today to improve access to daycare services for PEI families and to improve working conditions for daycare employees.
Back to school season is very exciting but it can also cause a lot of financial stress. Parents often spend hundreds of dollars on school supplies during this time of year and our government remains focused on making life more affordable for Canadians which will be our top priority during our Cabinet retreat this week. Last Friday, payments for the Canada Child Benefit went out. In July, the maximum amounts for low-income families increased by hundreds of dollars. Families with kids under six can now receive up to almost $7,500 per year and families with kids aged six through 17 can get up to almost $6,300 per child every year. And for parents with kids who are not going to school yet, like the ones I had the chance to meet earlier, we’re making childcare more affordable and more accessible.
Two years ago, our government made historic investments to cut daycare fees in half. Six provinces and territories have already gone to $10 a day, and fees everywhere else have in fact been cut in half.
Here on PEI, childcare fees have already been cut in half. When I was in Charlottetown last month for Pride, I met Leslie, a mom who told me she’s already saved thousands of dollars. That’s great, but we want even more parents like Leslie to have access to affordable childcare. So we need to create more childcare spaces. This is exactly why we’re here today.
Today, we can announce that Prince Edward Island will create more than 300 new spaces in Early Years centres over the next 18 months. Here in Cornwall, this Island Montessori Academy will be getting six new infant spaces.
We all want our children to get the best start in life, and that's why our investments in daycare services are so important. We know that better working conditions lead to better childcare environments.
Childcare workers are at the forefront of this new ambitious Canada-wide system that we’re building together. Today, we can announce that wages will increase this fall for early childhood educators and staff in designated Early Years centres in the province and employees of Early Years centres will soon benefit from a defined contribution pension plan. Making sure that people at the heart of the care economy are properly paid and valued is really important. Everywhere across the care economy conditions of work dictate conditions of care. This is how we deliver affordable, accessible childcare of the highest quality here in PEI and right across the country.
And of course, as we emphasize, ensuring that minority-language services are part of our childcare investments across the country continues to be a top priority for us.
We’re focussed on making life more affordable and delivering results. The answer right now is not to stop investing in Canadians. Our government is focussed on building things, like building quality, $10 a day childcare.
We’re continuing our work to build an economy focused on the well-being of Canadians, an economy where mothers don’t have to choose between family and career, an economy where everyone has a real and fair chance to succeed.
We’re building an economy that works for all Canadians. Canada is the best country in the world. Let’s keep making it better.
Thank you, everyone.