Encourage young families with child care that works
NDP Advanced Education and Skills Critic Dale Kirby (MHA, St. John’s North) has some advice for a long-time public servant who is embarking on a new career: encourage government to take a long, hard look at child care.
The premier announced yesterday that Ross Reid has been appointed Deputy Minister Responsible for the Population Growth Strategy. His mandate is in part to encourage more younger people to move to the province.
Kirby says an effective enticement to young working families would be a universal child care system. This would also, he says, help people already living here to remain in the workforce when their children are young – and knowing child care is available might also help raise the birth rate.
“Study after study demonstrates that adequate child care actually benefits the economy,” he said. “Since Quebec introduced its universal child care program in 1997, it has moved from the lowest female labour force participation rate in the country to the highest. The number of children living in poverty has been reduced by half.
“And studies show that the entire cost of the program is paid for by the increased taxes paid by the women who are able to remain in the work force.”
Kirby says he would be happy to share the information he has with Mr. Reid.
“I am sure he will agree that educated young workers considering a move would look most favourably on relocating to a province offering universal child care,” he said.