Invest in childcare

Online Federal Budget 2008 Consultations are happening now until February 11th. Tell the Federal Government why child care matters to you!
In preparing its 2008 budget, the Federal Government has asked for help from the public to prioritize budgetary goals.
The Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada encourages you to respond; this is an opportunity to tell the government about the priority you assign to public investments in child care services.

The consultation page <http://www.fin.gc.ca/activty/consult/prebud08_e.html> presents a number of specific budgetary goal options that respondents are asked to prioritize and to offer comment of 50 words or less. Respondents can also place top priority on the "Other" option and explain why child care services are important for children and families in their community.

In commenting on at least one of the options, it's important to provide specific advice to government. The CCAAC estimated costing of a child care system1 indicates that Budget 2008 should include $1.25 billion in dedicated child care transfers to provinces and territories, with spending conditions attached such as those outlined in Bill C-303. The comment sections also allow respondents to discuss how focused public investments in child care services contribute to each of government's proposed goals, for example:

* Government Priority Option: The Government should take steps Ö to ensure that Canada is prepared to deal with the implications of an aging population.

– Clearly Canada must ensure that, as the labour force starts to turn over rapidly, younger generations receive the best possible start on lifelong learning and development and families have the support they need in order for parents to maintain their labour force participation.

* Government Priority Option: The Government should implement broad-based policies Ö that will help all sectors of the economy to succeed.

– Canada's economic success is determined by the skills, talents and efforts of Canadians. It can only be assured if children receive quality care from the earliest stages of life and parents are supported to contribute to the economy and to their community.

* Government Budget Priority Option: The Government should focus its resources Ö by redirecting them from other areas.

– Public investments in child care services provide a more direct investment in the success of future generations than the debt reduction currently consuming federal surpluses; public investment in quality child care more than pays for itself.

The CCAAC response to a previous round of 2008 budget consultations discusses in detail the priority that should be assigned to child care[1]. Our submission outlines why, given the proven social and economic benefits of child care services, and the glaring lack of access to quality care, the federal government must bring Canada in line with other OECD countries and lead the development of high quality, affordable and accessible services across the country.

The CCAAC's submission can be accessed at: www.ccaac.ca/pdf/resources/briefs/CCAAC_PBC_Sept_11_07.pdf