2007-04-23 18:16:00
Dear Members of HUMA – The House of Commons Standing Committee considering Bill C303,

 We are writing to let you know of our strong support for Bill C-303, which you will soon be reviewing as a member of the House of Commons HUMA Standing Committee.

This Act, if passed, will go a long way towards creating true accountability in an area where it is sorely needed - child care funding.

Bill C-303, the Early Learning and Child Care Act, is designed to ensure that any federal money allocated for child care actually gets spent on child care. This is not currently how things work. In the last two years, the federal government has transferred almost $2 billion for early learning and child care to the provinces; this year, the transfers will be $600-million. While this is not enough money to build the child care system Canada needs, it is nevertheless a considerable amount of public funds. But at this time, there are no strings attached at all. The provinces are free to spend it on anything but child care. Contrary to the intergovernmental agreements signed beginning with the Multilateral Agreement on Early Learning and Child Care in 2003, most provinces are not publicly accounting for the federal funds.

From both the public accountability and the child development perspective, this is not an acceptable situation. Early learning and child care is simply too important to leave to chance.

The proposed Act also sets some standards for program delivery, ensuring that the federal funds are directed only to child care providers that meet a set of criteria referred to as the QUAD principles: Quality, Universality, Accessibility and Development-oriented. These are minimum benchmarks to help ensure that children are protected and in nurturing, stimulating environments. They are well based on the best available evidence.

We encourage you to support Bill C-303. It's the accountable thing to do.

 Sincerely Yours, Azerbaijani Women’s Support Centre

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