New child care legislation includes important commitment to non-profit child care and a qualified and well-supported workforce

December 8, 2022

Bruske: We welcome new child care legislation and will fight to strengthen it as it moves through committee

OTTAWA –– Canada’s unions welcome today’s early learning and child care legislation, Bill C‑35, another success born of the cooperation between the NDP and the Liberal government.

“Ensuring affordable, high quality, accessible and flexible services means we will have a Canada-wide system of early learning and child care that meets the needs of workers and their families. Perhaps more importantly, it will help families struggling with costs in the immediate future,” said Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress. “This legislation demonstrates a clear federal commitment to long-term, stable funding that labour, child care activists and parents have been longing to see for decades.”

The legislation, introduced today by Karina Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, also establishes an advisory council and stresses public, not-for-profit child care.

“In public, not-for-profit care, child care workers are able to focus on providing the best care, and families are assured that all funding is going into the care of their children, not padding the pockets of investors. As we have seen in long-term care, when the focus is on profit, the system breaks down,” said Bruske.

“We are looking forward to a full discussion of this legislation at committee, where we hope to see a full set of hearings. Canada’s unions will be ready and eager to discuss a workforce strategy and ensure the legislation enshrines a commitment to decent work for people in the sector, as well as strong accountability measures.”

The early learning and child care legislation includes key principles long advocated for by labour and child care advocates—including affordability, inclusion, high quality, and accessibility and the need for flexible services that meet the diverse needs of children and families.

Canada’s unions were also pleased to see that the legislation recognizes the importance of child care in meeting Canada’s obligations under international human rights instruments such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It also recognizes the need for culturally appropriate early learning and child care for First Nations, Metis and Inuit children and families led by Indigenous people. This is important in the implementation of the Calls to Action made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Calls for Justice made by the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirited Peoples


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