NDP childcare promise neglects daycare availability say parents

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Ian Grey, a father.

(Written on October 1st, 2015)

By Fadila Chater

The New Democratic Party have promised to implement the National Child Care Program. The program will make one million daycare spots for children over an eight-year span at the parents’ expense of $15-a-day.

NDP Member of Parliament, Megan Leslie, has spoken out about childcare reform. She has criticized the Conservatives for “helping the richest members of our society but refusing to help parents by investing in affordable child care services.”

For Ian Gray, a lawyer and young father, affording childcare wasn’t his primary concern. Finding 20-month-old Jimmy Gray a daycare in Halifax was nothing short of a daunting task.

“For us, what’s important is being able to have our kid cared for and that allows me and my wife to work,” says Gray

In the months leading up to Jimmy Gray’s first day of day care, Ian Gray sought childcare from his sister-in-law. It was months later that Gray’s colleague told him about a position available at Little Ladybug’s Child Care Centre.

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Walker, Dunlop Barristers and Solicitors, where Ian Gray works [photo: Fadila Chater]
Although a supporter of the NDP, Gray is skeptical of the party’s $15-a-day National Child Care Program.

Statistics Canada states that in 2011 there were an estimated 2 217 355 children under the age of six living with a family. If the NDP’s National Child Care Program spaces one million spots evenly over the span of eight years, this means that 125 000 spots will be available each year. Less than six per cent of children, under the NDP National Child Care Program, will have a spot in daycare across Canada in one year.

“What I’d like to see rather is an increased emphasis on expanding access. The problem is that its hard to find a spot, not so much that the spot, once you find it, isn’t affordable.”

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