Why Canada’s public child care plan is a game changer for the social impact sector — and everyone it serves

Canada is promising up to $30 billion over five years to develop a publicly-funded child care plan that’s affordable to all.

Why It Matters

Around 80 percent of Canada’s non-profit and charity workers are women. Those who have children bear a disproportionate brunt of child care duties. Under a publicly-funded child care plan, the sector’s female workforce may be better able to balance work and family life.

After decades of reports, activism, and protests, the grandchildren of Canadian women who began demanding universal child care as a core tenant of feminist policy may finally reap its benefits. 

The 2021 federal budget includes a promise to spend up to $30 billion over the next five years, and $8.3 billion in ongoing funding, to establish a publicly-funded early learning and child care program for Canadians across the country. It would offer regulated, high-quality spaces for an average of $10 a day by 2026 as a way to not only address the lack of affordable child care in Canada, but also boost women’s participation in the workforce at a time when women-dominated sectors are reeling from pandemic-related layoffs. Some women are choosing to quit their jobs altogether and care for their children rather than spending a majority of their income on child care. 


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