The federal government has committed $625 million to support child care for parents returning to work as pandemic restrictions are eased.
The funding announcement comes as COVID-related temporary closures and loss of critical revenue from placement fees have put significant strain on the child care sector.
“Parents in British Columbia and across Canada are eager to get back to work, but without quality child care for their kids, many will face barriers to re-entering the labour market. The Government of Canada is working with provinces and territories to ensure child care spaces are safe and accessible so we can continue to build towards a strong economic recovery together,” Carla Qualtrough, minister of employment, workforce development and disability inclusion, said in a press release.
On Friday (July 24), Qualtrough announced the federal support for Canada’s child care sector aimed at helping ensure that safe and sufficient child care spaces are available to support parents’ gradual return to work. The funding will be allocated to provinces and territories based on the existing allocation formula used for the Early Learning and Child Care Bilateral Agreements.
Along with the agreements under the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework, this investment means the Government of Canada will invest almost $1.2 billion to support child care in 2020-2021, according to government press release, a 67 per cent increase over the next highest year in history, 2005-2006, when $700 million in funding was announced.
“The availability of affordable, high-quality and flexible child care will be key to ensuring Canadian parents can return to work and our economy can recover from this crisis. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the child care sector to ensure all Canadian families will have access to the quality child care they need,” Ahmed Hussen, minister of families, children and social development, said in a press release.