It is disturbing but not surprising that, despite some initiatives in a number of provinces, child care across Canada remains unaffordable, unavailable and inconsistent in quality to this day. Federal leadership, together with provincial/territorial collaboration in working toward a long-term vision of a universal, high-quality, comprehensive early childhood education and care (ECEC) system, is demonstrably the best way to ensure real early learning and child care options for families.
This technical paper makes the case for universal child care and outlines what it will take to get us there: an overarching national policy framework that includes shared principles, an accountability framework, robust service systems designed and administered by each province/territory, local management and planning, and a voice for parents. Such a program would fit with Canadian federalism and provide a real range of options for families. Although building an excellent ECEC system is a complex task, it will be worth it if we are able to get it right from the start.
Cette étude est disponible en français: Des serices de garde pour tous et toutes: Des services de garde universels pour l'ensemble des Canadiens en 2020