Child care services essential to economic stimulus



    OTTAWA, Jan. 21 /CNW/ - "A healthy economy is dependent on access to
affordable child care. Parents need it whether they are working, job searching
or retraining," says Jody Dallaire of the Child Care Advocacy Association of
Canada. "Trying to build an economic stimulus package without child care
services is like trying to build a skyscraper without steel."
    Canadians understand this reality. Recent polling shows that more than
three-quarters of Canadians consider the lack of affordable child care to be a
serious problem and 83% believe that government has an important role to play
in helping parents meet their child care needs. When pushed to choose,
Canadians prefer a direct investment in child care services to a monthly
cheque at a rate of 2 to 1.(1)
    In the upcoming federal budget, the Child Care Avocacy Association of
Canada (CCAAC) will be looking for an investment of $2.2 billion dollars in
child care services along with a commitment to work with the provinces and
territories to build community-owned, quality, affordable spaces.
    Every dollar spent on improving access to quality child care brings
significant returns of between $2 and $17. But tax cuts and market incentives
like the Universal Child Care Benefit haven't worked. In fact, they've earned
Canada - outside of Quebec - last place ranking from the OECD and UNICEF in
terms of meeting basic early learning and child care standards. Plus, direct
cash transfers to families provide no accountability for the quality and
affordability of child care services that they access.
    "Tax cuts and payments to parents don't build child care" says Susan
Harney with the CCAAC. "Canadian families need the federal government to
invest in solutions that will actually improve access to quality, affordable
child care services in their communities."

    ------------------------
    (1) See Environics polling results at
www.ccaac.ca/pdf/resources/polls/2008EnvironicsReport_Attitudes_toward_child_c
are.pdf
    And Nanos polling results at :
    http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/October2008/09/c4801.html




For further information:

For further information: Jody Dallaire, Chairperson CCAAC, (506)
855-8977, (506) 961-1131 (c)

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CHILD CARE ADVOCACY ASSOCIATION OF CANADA

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