Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Issues Series Vol. 2 - Child Care

This seems to be another issue that has come to the forefront early in the campaign. Different plans have cropped up as to how best take care of our children under 6. Here's the brief synopsis thus far.

Conservative Party
Stephen Harper really started pushing the discussion on child care this week with his announcement of the $1200 annual benefit ($100 monthly) paid directly to families for each child under the age of 6. This would be to offset the cost of childcare in the best way the parent sees fit. The program, estimated at $10.9 billion over 5 years, would also create 125,000 new daycare spaces through tax credits to companies and community groups.

Liberal Party
Paul Martin and the Liberals announced several months ago their creation of a Childcare and Early Learning program, allocating $5 billion over 5 years (through 2009) to subsidize spaces in daycare programs. Today (Dec. 6) he annouced that they would be extending the program, making it $11 billion over 10 years.

Layton and the NDP have taken a stance on childcare that is slightly different. Basically, the NDP aren't campaigning to win the election, they are campaigning to have some of their ideas be represented as the "power brokers" of the next parliament. So based on that, they have set a list of conditions for child care, as "having a network of accessible, quality child care providers with regulated standards, and preventing public dollars from paying for private, big-box-style child care." (From http://www.ndp.ca/).

The Green Party
The Green Party's stance on childcare focuses on several things. They've stated that they wish to both develop a national childcare system, as well as provide incentives to businesses to increase programs such as flextime and on-site day care services.

The BQ
The Bloc has the fairly standard response in something that falls under the general provincial purview. Pretty much they signed their deal with the liberals for $1.125 billion to run their provincial childcare system, and that's as much input as they want from Ottawa.

Again, everyone, feel free to comment.

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