Back in 2006 just before Stephen Harper was elected, Canada was on its way to having a national childcare program under Paul Martin’s Liberal Party.
This dream was crushed when Stephen Harper was elected. He scrapped the policy and replaced it with a Universal Child Care Benefit (UCTB): $100/month to help with daycare costs – for children under 6.
The conservatives touted that child care decisions are best left in the hands of mom and dad. That’s a cop out.
First, this benefit is taxable leaving less in the hands of the families.
Second, the amount of UCTB is a joke. It is a pittance because daycare costs way more than $100/month – it averages $500 – $2000 / month depending on the province and if the daycare is for-profit or non-profit.
Third, even if we had a federal cap on “affordable” daycare at $10 – $15 /day, the UCTB would not cover it!
Fourth and finally, why only until the children are 6? What, children 7 and up don’t require daycare? Last time I checked, the recommended age to leave children alone (in SK at least) was 11.
Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party has since increased the UCTB; however, it still not adequate. It would almost cover an “affordable” daycare program. But it does not address any of the other concerns. We NEED a national childcare program!