The Government of Canada has been working closely with the Government of Quebec to ensure all families have access to affordable and high-quality child care. The COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges, including temporary closures and loss of critical revenue from placement fees, which have put the sector at risk.
Today, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen, announced $137 million in federal support for Quebec’s child care sector to help ensure that safe and sufficient child care spaces are available to support parents’ gradual return to work.
This funding is part of a larger $625 million investment through the Safe Restart Agreement to address the key child care priorities agreed upon by Canada’s First Ministers for the safe restart of Canada’s economy over the next six to eight months. Along with the agreements under the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework, this investment means the Government of Canada will invest almost $1.2 billion to support child care in 2020-2021, a 67% increase over the next highest year in history, 2005-2006, when $700 million were announced.
“The availability of affordable, high-quality and flexible child care will be key to ensuring Canadian parents can return to work and our economy can recover from this crisis. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the child care sector to ensure all Canadian families will have access to the quality child care they need.”
– Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen
Quebec will receive $137 million of the Government of Canada’s $625 million child care Safe Restart Fund.
This investment is in addition to the $1.2 billion over three years that was distributed to the provinces and territories, starting in 2017-18, to support early learning and child care and create up to 40,000 more affordable child care spaces.
Funding is allocated to the provinces and territories based on the existing allocation formula used for the Early Learning and Child Care Bilateral Agreements.
The key priorities to safely restart Canada’s economy are:
- Testing, contact tracing, and data management
- Health care system capacity
- Vulnerable populations
- Personal protective equipment for health and non-health workers
- Child care for returning workers
- Pan-Canadian sick leave