In April 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced the goal of an average daycare costing $ 10 per day across the country over the next five years.
In pursuit of this goal, the federal government has committed to investing $ 30 billion over the next five years, followed by a minimum of $ 9.2 billion annually thereafter. The Prime Minister’s office declared the new system could reduce child care costs by 50% on average everywhere outside Quebec by the end of 2022.
Since the announcement, the federal government has entered into discussions with the provinces and territories regarding the implementation of this new early learning and child care system. So far, it has signed agreements with seven provinces and one territory. Part of the agreements is to determine how much money the federal government will provide to each jurisdiction to make child care more affordable and accessible and to support the child care providers themselves through skills training and increases. salary.
The raison d’être of this initiative is to stimulate economic growth and social prosperity across the country.
During the announcement, the Prime Minister’s Office explained, “By building an early learning and child care system, we will make life more affordable for Canadian families, create new jobs, grow the classroom. average, increase the participation of women in the labor market and stimulate strong economic growth across the country.
How might $ 10 a day child care impact immigrants?
This policy is likely to be a huge victory for parents across Canada and perhaps even more so for parents facing vulnerable circumstances. Immigrants are among the most likely to benefit the most.
Immigrants tend to arrive in Canada at a younger age than the Canadian average age. This means that they tend to have younger families and that access to affordable child care is of the utmost importance. Unlike the average Canadian, immigrants may not have family and friends available to care for their children, and may not yet have an income high enough to afford child care. It is generally immigrant women who suffer the consequences.
One of the reasons newcomers may have difficulty integrating economically and socially in Canada is the lack of affordable child care options. For example, in Toronto, which is the main destination for new immigrants to Canada, the average monthly fee for toddlers is $ 1,600 depending on the Federal government budget 2021. That’s over $ 3,000 a month for a typical family with two children.
In the absence of affordable options, newcomer women may be forced to stay home to care for their children. This hinders their ability to seriously pursue their careers in Canada as well as to establish the social networks that are also essential to feeling at home in Canada. Not surprisingly, newcomer women reported in research that they felt isolated during their first few years of arrival in Canada, in large part because of their childcare responsibilities.
Thus, it is very likely that the deployment of the $ 10 per day child care program will allow more immigrant women to pursue their careers. This would improve the purchasing power of immigrant families since they can expect more income while seeing their child care costs decrease. The program should also improve the social integration of immigrant women (since the workplace is also essential to the creation of social networks) and represent a boon for a Canadian labor market which is expected to see all of its 9 million babies. -boomers reach retirement age within the next decade.
Another likely major benefit is better academic and social outcomes for newcomer children, as they will have access to additional learning opportunities and opportunities to make new friends.
The 2021 budget listed a few examples and studies to advocate for this new program. In 1997, the participation rate of women in the labor market in Quebec was four percentage points lower than that of the rest of Canada, but it is now four percentage points higher than the national average after the province set up its own affordable child care system. Additionally, the budget cited a TD Economics study that found that every $ 1 investment in early childhood education translates into a return to the economy in general between $ 1.50 and $ 2.80. .
Such findings should provide newcomers and parents across Canada with important reasons to be optimistic.