We need universal daycare. Canada’s childcare is one of the most expensive in the world and sometimes parents face a long waiting list to get their child into daycare.
I have no idea why we don’t have universal daycare in Ontario. It’s unacceptable that the average Ontario family spends nearly a quarter of their family income on childcare. Women are two times more likely to do unpaid childcare which keeps them from working, and that has a significant economic and financial impact on women and the economy at large.
Women should not have to choose between taking care of their kids or their career. According to Oxford, if Canada lowers childcare costs by 40%, we would see about 150,000 women return to the workforce and boost Canada’s GDP by $8 billion (2%), so just imagine what universal childcare could do.
For the first time in Canadian history, we have a higher death rate than birth rate due to the so many hurdles that families face when it comes to the affordability of taking care of kids. The World Bank is telling us that childcare is “one of the highest hurdles for women to participate in the labour force”.
“Compared to its OECD peers, Canada ranks lowest in public spending on early childhood education and care to spend, at merely 0.3 percent of the GDP, which is well below the international benchmark amount of one percent of GDP”, Oxford reports.
Universal daycare isn’t an expense, it’s an investment that will improve our economy, improve equality between men and women, and increase our GPD. It’s time for Canada to go back to the drawing board and make universal daycare happen.
I support the Childcare Now Plan to make childcare affordable as a good start for the federal government, but I believe we should go even further and make it completely free so no one has to choose between their kids and their career, because it’s not socially right or good for the economy.
In the absence of federal action, the Ontario government should follow Quebec’s footsteps and go even further to make Ontario the first province to have universal daycare.
If I am able to run for the Green Party of Ontario nomination and win the nomination, I will fight fiercely on the campaign trail for universal daycare, and if I am elected to Queen’s Park, I will do everything in my power to make it happen.
It’s time to break the barrier that expensive daycare puts on women, and help them build their futures and their families as well.