NDP child care plan in sync with modern families' needs

    OTTAWA, Sept. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - Child care advocates are hailing the
NDP's announcement on child care today, saying the party is showing clear
leadership in the way it has responded to the pressing needs of families with
young children.
    "They really stepped up to the plate for families," said Shellie Bird,
spokesperson for the Code Blue Campaign for Child Care. "They're pledging
significant federal funding of $1.45 billion in the first year, the creation
of 150,000 badly needed new child care spaces and legislation that would
create and safeguard a system of community-based early learning and child
    Bird also praised the Green Party for its support for a universal child
care system, and said that the Conservatives and the Liberals have failed to
put forward a comprehensive child care plan.
    "The Conservatives simply have no child care policy and are stuck in a
backward era. Stephen Harper doesn't understand the changing economic and
social realities of families."
    The Liberals are also disappointing because their election announcement
does not endorse a universal, community-based system of early learning and
child care. "We expected much more from a party that, when last in office,
worked so hard to negotiate significant agreements with the provinces and
territories that would have been a first step to creating a system."
    Parents and advocates from across the country are desperate for real
solutions to the child care crisis in Canada. "Today's parents are looking for
political leadership that is in step with their lived economic stresses," said
Jody Dallaire, Chair of the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada.
    Growth in child care spaces slowed down markedly after the Conservatives
took office and tore up signed agreements with the provinces and territories
for child care funding of $5 billion over five years. The Conservatives'
introduction of a $100-a-month child care allowance did not address the needs
of parents who face child care costs of up to $10,000 a year-provided they can
even find a space.
    Michele LaFlamme, a parent of two young children said that, "Good
affordable child care is very hard to find. Politicians will say they can't
afford child care, I say they can't afford not to invest in the next
    Code Blue for Child Care will be issuing a comprehensive comparison of
the parties' child care platforms later in the election campaign.

For further information:

For further information: Jenny Robinson, (416) 938-2625; Jody Dallaire,
(506) 961-1131 (after 7 p.m. ADT)

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