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Three years after the Tory government cancelled funding arrangements for the first phase of a national child care program, CUPE has released a developmental report on little Stevie Harper.

Municipalities across Ontario are looking at closing literally thousands of spaces unless provinces step up to fill the funding void left when the Harper government substitued cheques for child care, says Shellie Bird.

The CUPE child care advocate said the loss of federal money for child care subsidies will make child care harder to find as centres eliminate spaces earmarked for parents with subsidies, and harder to afford.

Report card #2

Harper record on early childhood education and child care

Name: “Stevie” Harper Dates: February 6, 2006 – February 6, 2009 SPACE EXPANSION INCOMPLETE

Steve clearly needs to spend much more time on his math homework, not fooling around.

Stephen and his friends say they have “already created 60,000 new child care spaces across the country”. In reality - since 2006, an increase of only 26,661 spaces can be documented, the smallest increase in regulated child care in some years.


Steve wants to be top of the class but is not willing to put in the work.

Steve says they’re “spending three times as much money on early learning and child care as the previous Liberal government ever did”. In reality - most of the funds they’re claiming are child benefits and the “universal child care benefit”, not early learning and child care. Canada is the lowest spender on ELCC in the OECD.


Steve needs work on active listening skills

Stephen says that the “universal child care benefit” (UCCB) allows parents to have a choice of how their children are cared for. In reality - the government’s own UCCB website shows that the families profiled mostly use the $100 a month cheque for paying bills, family recreation memberships, special lessons for their children, or savings for the future – not for child care. To have a choice, parents need affordable, high quality programs, maternity/parental leave and, if they are low income, financial help in providing for their families.


This student needs to learn the lessons of history rather than continuing to pass the buck to others.

Steve says that they are “providing incentives to corporations so that they can create child care spaces on-site to help families”. The government’s own commission said that this wasn’t the way to go – and no on-site spaces have been created by corporations for their employees.


Steve says he didn’t cut child care transfers. Yeah… and the dog ate his homework.

Stephen says that “there have been no cuts to child care transfers to the provinces”. In reality – the first act of their “new government” on February 6, 2006, was to announce unilaterally that the agreements to transfer funds to provinces and territories for early learning and child care were cancelled.

Note to parents

Stephen also did badly in international testing. UNICEF ranked him dead last out of 25 countries in an international report card on child care quality, access and financing.

Yet Stephen insists his way is the right way – even when his teachers and classmates show him otherwise.

F Stephen failed all his child care subjects. But we don’t want him repeating the grade – better to make room for students who are prepared to get along with others and take their studies more seriously.

Stephen can’t really be trusted to handle important assignments like early learning and child care, can he?