Child-care promises from the federal parties for parents in Ottawa

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Child care is a perennial election issue and every party has a pledge to help support parents, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With Ottawa so close to Quebec—which has its own provincial child care program—families in Ottawa may be wondering what parties are promising for this side of the river.

Here's a look at what the federal parties are offering parents and caregivers this election.

Election Day is Sept. 20.

LIBERALS

The Liberals are promising to cut child care fees by half over the next year and, within the next five years, introduce a $10 per day daycare plan at a cost of $30 billion.

As of late August, British Columbia, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon have all signed agreements with the federal government on a $10-per-day daycare plan and the Liberal platform promises to work with remaining provinces and territories on the plan.

The Liberal platform also promises to build 250,000 child-care spaces, hire 40,000 more early childhood educators, and improve early learning and child-care options for Indigenous children.

CONSERVATIVES

The Conservative party of Canada is promising a refundable tax credit of up to $6,000 per child, with the goal of covering up to 75 per cent of the cost of child care for low-income families.

The money would be paid out during the year to avoid making families wait until the end of the year to receive a refund.

NEW DEMOCRATS

The NDP is also promising a $10 a day child-care system across Canada, but the party did not give a timeline for its implantation.

The party's platform also pledges to create more child-care spaces to cut down on wait times for daycare spots and to ensure that child-care workers are paid a fair, living wage.

The party also promises to provide immediate relief funding to non-profit daycares at risk of closing because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

GREEN PARTY

The Green Party of Canada has not yet released its platform, but the party has been supportive of a universal child-care program in the past.

In 2019, the Green Party promised to ramp up federal child-care funding by $1 billion each year in order to reach a benchmark of 1 per cent of GDP. The party also said it would eliminate GST on construction costs related to child-care spaces.

BLOC QUEBECOIS

Quebec has its own subsidized daycare program and the Bloc is not advocating for a national program like other federal parties.

After the Liberals’ unveiled their plan for a national child-care program, BQ leader Yves-Francois Blanchet said Quebec should be able to spend their portion of the money on whatever they want. Premier Francois Legault said he’d like to spend it on health care.