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Multi-year funding for child care expected in Canadian federal budget

March 17, 2017
Laurie Monsebraaten
The Star

Multi-year funding for child care will be part of next week’s federal budget, according to advocates who say they have been told to expect a long-term financial commitment to the long-promised national program.

But they are concerned the money won’t increase over time, which would make it difficult to grow a system that currently serves barely one in five young children in the country.

“We have been arguing from the outset that if the federal government is serious about meaningful change, that a one-year allocation would not be enough,” said Morna Ballantyne of the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada.

“We believe that message has been heard,” she said Wednesday. “But our main concern is that it may be $500 million allocated each year for the next 10 years. And that is a big problem because you can’t expand the system if you don’t increase the allocation on an annual basis.”

Advocates were disappointed last year when the 2016 budget earmarked just $500 million for child care in 2017-18, including $100 million for indigenous child care.