Election Canada 2021 childcare platforms, analyzed

In 2015 and 2019, women were a key voting bloc for parties. And, with child custody at the center of the discussion in 2021, this election is no different.

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The pandemic sparked Canada’s first “demise”, where women lost the majority of jobs, especially low-income women, who can also be racialized, single mothers, precarious housed and / or precarious status. The economic recovery from this pandemic must be a ‘cover for her’ and childcare is crucial for women to return to the workplace or continue to work.


In Budget 2021, the Liberal Party pledged more than $ 27.2 billion (over five years) to establish a national child care program that promises child care at $ 10 a day. This plan continues to be a major part of their re-election campaign.

To date, the Liberals have signed agreements with eight provincial and territorial governments (BC, Yukon, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Labrador and Newfoundland), which would result in a 50% reduction in child care costs. next year, with the goal of reaching that threshold of $ 10 per day someday in the next five years.

To increase capacity, the Liberals plan to build 250,000 new high-quality child care spaces, hire 40,000 more early childhood educators, work with Indigenous partners to ensure Indigenous children have access to culturally appropriate child care services and pass federal child care legislation to strengthen and protect a pan-Canadian system.


The Conservative Party of Canada is taking a different approach to reducing child care costs. Party leader Erin O’Toole said that despite signed agreements, a Conservative government would drop $ 10-a-day child care plans and instead create a refundable tax credit that would cover up to 75 percent of the cost of child care for the not so young. income families.

This would be done by converting the existing child care expense deduction (the line on your tax form where you indicate how much you spend on child care each year) into the proposed tax credit. The Parliamentary Budget Officer estimates that this plan would cost Canadians $ 2.6 billion over the next five years.

The Child Care Tax Credit could be claimed by anyone, regardless of income level, but according to analysis by Lindsay Tedds, Gillian Petit and Tammy Schirle for Policy Options, only the fees child care up to $ 8,000 would qualify for the credit.

The Conservative plan does not specify any commitment to increase the number of child care spaces, nor does it mention the increase in the number of early childhood educators.


Like the Liberal Party, the New Democrats are promising $ 10 a day child care, which would build on existing agreements with provinces and territories to facilitate this change. Although the Parliamentary Budget Officer did not provide a cost for this plan, given that the NDP would be using the Liberals’ blueprint, it can be assumed that the costs would be similar.

In addition to $ 10 a day child care, New Democrats want to save nonprofit child care, create enough spaces to avoid long waiting lists and ensure early childhood educators get paid decent and decent. .

Green Party

The Green Party also wants to create a universal child care program, which would see them working with provinces, territories and Indigenous communities to develop guiding principles and a framework for what it looks like. We do not know if the Greens, like the NDP, would benefit from the work already done by the Liberals.

In addition, the Greens’ proposal for child care wants to increase federal funding for child care to reach the international benchmark of spending 1 percent of GDP per year on child care.

Unfortunately, the Green Party platform lacks details, so it is not possible to give an overview of the feasibility, time frame and cost.

The economy

How should child care services be offered? To answer this question, the parties essentially contemplate two types of responses: one that lowers market costs through tax incentives, and one that creates a regulated system that caps childcare costs at $ 10 per day by increasing the physical supply of places (c.). Which approach is the best? Any economist worth his salt will always answer this question with “it depends”.

The Conservatives, who preferred the first answer to the second, have an ostensibly progressive policy in the sense that as family income increases, the amount of the refundable tax credit decreases. Unfortunately, while the absolute amount decreases, the tax is actually regressive in that the proportion of child care expenses paid to total family income increases as family income decreases. This means that although low-income families will pay less in terms of the total amount of child care costs, the ratio to income increases. This increases the tax burden on low income families rather than middle class and wealthy families.

The Liberals, New Democrats and Greens support a variety of systems that build capacity. This is a better plan to increase accessibility, supply and affordability. However, there is a caveat. The Liberals’ child care plan would mean families pay $ 2,600 a year, which is also regressive. For low-income families, this represents about 20 percent of their income and this percentage decreases with increasing income. This plan, however, would still reduce total costs and the proportion of revenues spent on child care more than the Conservatives’ plan.

The fine print

With these child care plans, it is important to note that the Liberal and NDP proposals would significantly reduce child care costs to an average $ 10 a day, which means some people will pay more and others less. Likewise, the Conservative plan is a tax credit Up to 75 percent of the costs, so the higher your income, the less impacted you will be on the promise.

Ultimately, voters have to choose which plans and parties make the most sense to them, but be sure to do your research!

About Leah Albert

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