NDP Leader Jack Layton announced the NDP’s plan to improve child care in Canada and measures to fight child poverty. Layton was speaking at the Parkdale Beach Child Care Centre in Toronto.
The NDP plan to improve child care and fight child poverty has three main elements:
A Child Care Act to ensure that federal funding for child care is targeted at licensed, high-quality, non-profit child care.
$1.8 billion invested in child care next year, with annual increases of $250 million for the next three years. This would create 200,000 additional spaces in the first year, with another 25,000 spaces annually after that.
An increase in the federal child tax credit of $1,000 phased in over four years in order to help lower-income families cover child care costs and meet other essential expenses.
Layton said the NDP plan means a permanent commitment to create high-quality, licensed, non-profit child care, one affordable step at a time.
The NDP plan, in the main, is a pale imitation of the Liberal plan to create "spaces" as opposed to doing anything for children and families. Let them waste their energies trying to outbid each other for the hard-left vote while the Conservatives put money in parents' pockets.
The last sentence, however, has an ominous undertone.
Does the NDP's vision of high-quality, licensed, non-profit child care sound inspired by its commitment to high-quality, licensed, non-profit health care?
I hope I'm only being paranoid when I see Brave New World visions of warehouse-sized state-run daycares, overseen by a vast bureaucracy of certified early childhood educators, while the government denounces and arrests parents for providing unlicensed private child care in their own homes.
I fear I'm only being realistic when I envision two-week waiting periods to change dirty diapers.