National child-care program would be 'a blessing' if Liberals can make it happen
FREDERICTON -- Liberal governments have been talking about a national child-care plan for years and Monday's federal budget again promised to deliver one -- with start up money of about $30 billion.
Stefanie Hoffmann moved to the Maritimes from Germany two years ago. Her daughter Amelie was born here and for her, the cost of Canadian childcare was an eye-opener compared to about $75 dollars a month in Germany.
"I thought maybe there would be a spot that was a little bit cheaper," Hoffmann said. "So, I have to decide if I will go back to work or take care of her, because you have to make the balance between."
That's a common story for many, and what the federal government's national childcare program is hoping to eliminate.
Child-care educators say it is much needed.
"Programs need to have early childhood educators to staff them and to provide the service they have to be fairly compensated for their education, their knowledge, their career path and structure," said Catherine Cross, the executive director of the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Nova Scotia. "Families can't afford to do that; that's one of the reasons it costs a lot to deliver early learning and childcare."
Child-care administrator Tracey Law has been in the industry for more than 30 years, and has heard the whispers of a national child-care system before. She just hopes that this time around, it actually happens.
"It will be a blessing for everybody if they can make this go," Law said. "All Canadians would be impacted in a positive way and certainly the children, giving more children more access to good quality childcare and everybody's on an even plain when it comes to going to school."
The Liberals say their goal is to lower child-care costs to $10 a day per child, within five years.