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Parents pine for cheaper daycare

Due to the high cost of daycare for his four children, Jean Ngoabe has to stay home two days a week, which reduces his earning potential.
Sudbury MP Glenn Thibeault invited Jessica Thibeault, along with her children, Olivia and Jensen, to share her experience with child care in Sudbury. The NDP has announced a plan to invest $1.9 billion in child care over the next four years if the party forms the next federal government. Photo by Jonathan Migneault.
Due to the high cost of daycare for his four children, Jean Ngoabe has to stay home two days a week, which reduces his earning potential.

Ngoabe said he hopes the NDP will be able to enact its national child-care plan that would ensure parents would pay no more than $15 a day for child care.

Sudbury MP Glenn Thibeault, and his Nickel Belt colleague, Claude Gravelle, announced details about their party's plans for child care, should it form the national government in 2015.

To subsidize child care costs for Canadian parents, the NDP would invest $1.9 billion over four years to create 370,000 new child care spaces.

By the time the whole program is in place after eight years, the annual federal contribution will have increased by $5 billion, the NDP has said.

“We're losing out when it comes to the economy and when it comes to families,” Thibeault said.

To make the plan a reality, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair would need to work with the provinces to support his child-care program, and create one million daycare spaces for an eight-year period.

Jessica Bertrand has two young children, and said at the Sudbury announcement she strongly supports the NDP's child-care plan.

She said she cannot afford public daycare for her children, at a cost of $51 a day, and instead brings them to a private daycare in Minnow Lake, where she pays $25 a day.

Bertrand said more affordable public daycare would allow her children to be looked after closer to their home in Azilda.

“I think it would be great,” she said.

Some facts about the NDP's new child-care policy, announced Tuesday:

What is it?: A national system of early childhood education and child-care programs negotiated with the provinces, enshrined in law and given predictable, long-term funding.

Principles: Affordability, availability and quality.

Number of spaces: Program will create or support one million spaces after an eight-year phase-in.

Cost to government: Annual federal commitment rises to $5 billion a year after eight years.

Cost to parents: No more than $15 a day for each child.

Cost to parents today: Average monthly payment of $1,152 in Ontario, $825 in Nova Scotia and $1,047 in British Columbia.

Access today: The NDP says only 22.5 per cent of children five and under have access to regulated child care, although 73.5 per cent of their mothers are in the work force.

Source: NDP

With files from CP 

Jonathan Migneault

About the Author: Jonathan Migneault

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