Child care in the 2015 election
Where do the parties stand?
Conservative Party of Canada
As government, the Conservatives tabled the following in the federal budget in late 2014:
- Income splitting for couple families;
- Increasing the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) cheques from the existing $100/month to $160/month for 0-5 year olds;
- Adding a UCCB of $60/month for 6-18 year olds;
- Increasing the Child Care Expense Deduction (CCED) under The Income Tax Act to $1000. –
Information about the Conservative Party platform is available here.
Also see Getting less bang for the child care buck – all 68 billion of them.
New Democratic Party of Canada
The NDP’s child care platform statement was released in the fall of 2014. The New Democrats promise that an NDP government would build an affordable universal national child care program; “affordable” is defined as a service for which parents wouldn’t pay more than $15 per day per child.
The NDP has committed to:
- Work with the provinces, territories and Indigenous communities to fund and develop national early childhood education and child care programs delivered with common principles such as affordability, availability and quality;
- Enshrine the program in legislation;
- Support or maintain the creation of one million new child care spaces within eight years (when the program is fully phased in);
- Ensure and cost-share (60% federal, 40% P/T) long-term, predictable transfer funds to provinces/territories to be phased in over an eight-year time period;
- Progressively boost federal investment in child care. After eight years, the annual federal investment will have increased by $5 billion. The first step, to be achieved within four years, is to fund 370,000 new affordable child care spaces with an annual investment of $1.9b.
- Set measurable benchmarks with publically available reporting;
- Recognize that provinces/territories have jurisdiction over the delivery of early childhood education and child care;
- Abolish income splitting and retain the full UCCB.
Information about the NDP child care platform is available here.
Liberal Party of Canada
The Liberals have not yet released a child care platform statement. Some preliminary public statements about child care appear on the Liberal Party website under a more general Social Policy statement (see the Child Care tab):
- Liberals have said they will exercise national leadership to ensure that all Canadians are able to access affordable, high-quality child care spaces in every region of the country;
- The Liberals have said they will reverse income splitting;
- In May 2015, the Liberals announced a platform plank titled “Fairness for the middle class”. It included a commitment to a new National Child Benefit that would roll a number of family tax and transfer measures including the UCCB into a new package (Details online here);
- When this was announced, the Liberal leader noted that the child care platform was yet to come (Find out more here).
Information about the Liberal Party platform is available here.
Green Party of Canada
The Green Party of Canada has not released a child care platform for the 2015 election. The Green Parties’ online “Vision Green” has a “People policy” which outlines their views on child care. These views include:
- Reforming tax and labour policies to allow for families to spend more time together – Integrating supports, tax cuts and awareness to highlight the importance of time spent with children and its impact on society;
- Restore the 2005 agreements to achieve a universal child care program in Canada;
- Ensure that children’s interests are considered in policy development and services as recommended by UNICEF;
- Provide workplace child care spaces, and speed up the creation of this by providing a direct tax credit to employers of $1500 per child each year;
- Value the decision of parents who may choose to stay home with their children.
Information about the Green Party platform is available here.
The Bloc Québécois have not yet released a child care platform. In the 2011 federal election, the Bloc Québécois platform did not address child care.
Information about the Bloc Québécois platform is available here.
¹ Information available as of June 11 2015. This document will be updated leading up to the 2015 federal election as needed.