Statement from the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development on the situation of children in Canada following UNICEF's Building the Future report release

GATINEAU, QC, June 15, 2017 /CNW/ - "As Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, I am making this statement this morning following the release of UNICEF's report on the situation of children in Canada in 2014. Canada is a prosperous country that cannot tolerate seeing its children experience poverty and abuse.

The Government of Canada acknowledges that raising children is expensive and Canadian families need support. That's why the Government of Canada is addressing the issue of child poverty.

Since our government came into power in October 2015, we have implemented a number of measures to help children and families, including the Canada Child Benefit (CCB), which was introduced in July 2016. It represents the most significant social measure put in place in nearly a generation. Thanks to the CCB, nine out of ten Canadian families receive almost $200 more than in 2014, tax-free. This measure alone will reduce child poverty by 40 percent by the end of 2017.

What's more, in Budget 2017, we announced 7.5 billion over the next 11 years to increase the quality, affordability, inclusivity, accessibility and flexibility of early learning and child care. This week, I had the opportunity to sign a multilateral agreement on this issue with the provinces and territories. We have agreed on the five principles listed above. Investing in education and child care for young children in Canada is one of the best investments that governments can make to help Canada's middle class and those working hard to join it . As UNICEF Canada's president reminded us, investments to help the most vulnerable children provide the highest returns.

Combined with the CCB, early learning and child care services will give parents, especially mothers, the opportunity to participate fully in the workforce and contribute to strengthening the Canadian economy. By increasing their incomes, more families can avoid poverty.

We are currently developing a Canadian poverty reduction strategy that will align with and support existing provincial and municipal poverty reduction strategies. We will set targets to reduce poverty in order to measure and publicly report on progress. For the past several months, I have been consulting with people and organizations across the country with the goal of developing a strategy that best meets the needs of the children and families most in need.

The Government of Canada is committed to reducing poverty and improving the economic well-being of all Canadian children so that they have a fair chance at success. We work hard every day to help the most vulnerable children, and we are convinced that we will be successful."

Quick Facts

  • Budgets 2016 and 2017 proposed to invest $7.5 billion over 11 years, starting in 2017–2018, to support and create more high-quality, affordable child care across the country, particularly for families most in need. Over the next three years, these investments could:
    • increase the number of affordable child care spaces for low- and modest-income families by supporting new subsidized child care spaces; an
    • make it more affordable for parents to return to work, with thousands of parents more likely to enter the labour force once child care is made more affordable.
  • A portion of this investment will be dedicated to improving access to culturally appropriate early learning and child care programs for all Indigenous children.
  • These investments include $100 million for Indigenous early learning and child care announced in Budget 2016.
  • Of this investment, $95 million will also go towards closing data gaps to better understand what child care looks like in Canada and track progress. Another $100 million will go to innovation in early learning and child care.
  • Only one in four children in Canada has access to regulated child care.
  • Intervening early to promote child development from the prenatal period to age six can have long-term benefits that can extend throughout children's lives.
  • Research shows that there are positive relationships between quality early learning and child care, parental labour market participation and child development outcomes. This is particularly true for vulnerable children.
  • It is estimated that in 2017, after a full year of the CCB, approximately 300,000 fewer children will live in poverty, which represents a 40 percent reduction in the rate of poverty for Canadian children.
  • For nine out of ten families, the CCB is more beneficial than the previous suite of child benefits.
  • Families with a family net income of less than $30,000 will receive the maximum benefit amount of $6,400 for each child under the age of six and $5,400 per year for each child aged 6 to 17.

Associated Links

Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework 
Canada Child Benefit 
Poverty reduction strategy
Family benefits

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SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: For media enquiries, please contact: Émilie Gauduchon-Campbell, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P., Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, 819-654-5546; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca


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