Supporting Mothers with $10-a-day child care

May 12, 2024             Ottawa, Ontario         Employment and Social Development Canada

Today we celebrate and honour all mothers—and those who take on mothering roles—for all that they do. Mothers work hard to give their children the best possible start in life. They are often at the heart of our families and our communities, providing unconditional love, often while juggling careers and other caretaking responsibilities.

But for many mothers, including Millennial and Gen Z mothers, the costs of child care can add up to a second rent or mortgage payment. This makes it harder to start and support a family, and as a result, parents—especially moms—often face impossible choices between their careers and child care fees.

Fairness for every generation means ensuring parents, especially moms, don’t have to make the difficult choice between a career and starting a family. That’s why the government is taking action to make life cost less, and build a Canada where every generation can get ahead.

Already, all provinces and territories are offering, or on track to offer, $10-a-day regulated child care. This progress, made possible by nearly $40 billion in federal support since 2016, including the transformative investment of nearly $30 billion in Budget 2021, is making life more affordable for young families. Women’s labour force participation is at a record high of 85.7 per cent, and more families are bringing home more income and contributing to Canada’s economic growth, while saving thousands of dollars on child care every year.

As we work to create 250,000 new affordable child care spaces by March 2026 through the Canada-wide early learning and child care system, we know we need to have a focus on ensuring every family can save thousands of dollars per child, per year, on child care costs. But more families need access to affordable child care spaces.

That’s why, today, Jenna Sudds, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development announced that the Government of Canada has signed amendments to the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreements with all provinces and territories, enabling an additional $625 million in federal funding for provinces and territories to help public and not-for-profit child care providers build more child care spaces and deliver affordable child care for families in underserved communities. Provincial and territorial funding allocation details will be announced soon. In addition, the new $1 billion Child Care Expansion Loan Program, announced in Budget 2024, will provide even more funding to help not-for-profit and public child care providers build more spaces.

Minster Sudds also highlighted Budget 2024 investments that will strengthen Canada’s care economy, to help those doing essential caregiving roles—whether for young children, persons with disabilities, or elderly parents and grandparents—to save more every year and pursue their own career aspirations.

Measures in Budget 2024 to give every child the best start in life include:

  • Launching a National School Food Program to help up to 400,000 more kids get the food they need at school. Children need healthy food to grow, play, learn, and reach their full potential. Yet one in four children in Canada live in households experiencing food insecurity, many of whom go to school hungry. That’s why Budget 2024 announces a $1 billion National School Food Program.
  • Supporting after-school learning to help all Canadian students, including students in low-income communities and Indigenous youth, reach their full potential, with an investment of $67.5 million in Budget 2024. After-school learning and supports, such as mentorship and academic assistance, play an important role in helping students succeed in their academic pursuits, especially for at-risk students.
  • Launching a new $1 billion Child Care Expansion Loan Program to help public and not-for-profit child care providers to build more new spaces and renovate their existing child care centres. This means more affordable child care options to save families money and ensure parents don’t have to choose between a career and starting a family.
  • Offering student loan forgiveness for rural and remote early childhood educators to encourage early childhood educators to work in remote and rural communities and help families get the child care they need. With a $48 million investment over four years and $15.8 million ongoing, Canada Student Loan forgiveness amounts will increase with the amount of time an educator works in a rural or remote community, improving access to high-quality child care services, similar to the benefits offered to rural family doctors and nurses.
  • Increasing training for early childhood educators by investing $10 million over two years to train more early childhood educators will help build up the talent needed for affordable, high-quality child care.
  • Improved access to child care for Canadian Armed Forces personnel: $100 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, aims to help improve child care services for Canadian Armed Forces personnel and their families.
  • Creating a Sectoral Table on the Care Economy: These experts will consult and provide recommendations to the federal government on concrete actions to better support the care economy, including early learning and child care.
  • Helping families save for their child’s education with automatic enrolment in the Canada Learning Bond: Starting in 2028-29, all eligible children born in 2024 or later would have a Registered Education Savings Plan automatically opened for them if they don’t have an account when they turn four, and the eligible Canada Learning Bond payments of up to $2,000 would be auto-deposited in these accounts—without any family contribution necessary.

These are just some of the things that Budget 2024 is doing to support families, especially mothers, and build an economy that is fair for every generation. Budget 2024 is a plan to build a Canada where everyone has a fair chance at a good middle class life. Alongside these investments, the Government of Canada is investing in good health care, dental care, protecting pensions, and increasing access to medications, to make sure every generation can be safe and healthy to get ahead. 

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