Announcing agreement with PEI to provide $10 a day child care for families
It is good to be back on PEI.
Thank you to Sean and the team from Carrefour de l’Isle-Saint-Jean for your warm welcome.
It’s also great to be here with Minister Hussen, and the rest of our PEI team – Lawrence, Wayne, and Bobby.
And to my friend Premier King and to Minister Jameson, it’s good to see you both.
I want to thank you both and Dr. Heather Morrison for being such strong leaders throughout this pandemic.
I know everyone had to make tough but necessary decisions when it came to the pandemic and your borders.
Well, it’s paid off because PEI has been an extraordinary leader in your pandemic response.
Of course, that should come as no surprise.
After all, Islanders are a resilient bunch.
You work together to solve big problems, and you’re there for one another when times get tough.
And perhaps never has that sense of community been more important than during this pandemic.
You’ve gone above and beyond to keep each other safe.
And that includes by rolling up your sleeves to get vaccinated.
Your sacrifices have yielded results, and better times are ahead.
As we gear up to build back better, we’re making sure that everyone has what they need to succeed.
And that particularly includes young children and families.
Over the past few months, I have spoken with mothers all over the country who had to make difficult choices during the pandemic.
And today, we are here to change things.
The pandemic made it clear that without access to affordable childcare, too many parents – especially mothers – have to choose between having a family or building a career.
Well, families deserve better.
That’s why we’re taking action on childcare.
And on that note, I have big news to share for people here on PEI.
Today, I can announce that we have signed an agreement with the Government of PEI to provide parents on the Island with $10 a day childcare for kids under 6.
And we’re going to get there, Premier King tells me, within three years.
This ambitious timeline goes to show not only how dedicated PEI is to making life more affordable for families.
But it’s also an example of how working closely with the federal government means real change happens fast.
So we’re going to reach $10 a day childcare here on PEI in 3 years.
But what happens between now and then?
Well, to begin with, average childcare fees will be cut in half by the end of next year.
And within two years, we’ll create over 450 new childcare spaces on the Island.
This will make life more affordable for you.
It will create jobs and it will help parents, especially moms, get back to work while giving kids the level playing field they need to succeed in their first years of school.
This is real change that you can count on.
Our agreement will increase the number of non-profit childcare spaces and support recruitment and retention of skilled workers.
No matter where you live, it’s important for your kids to have a real and fair chance to succeed.
On that front, we have signed agreements over the past two weeks with British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Yukon, and now PEI.
Those agreements will make quality childcare more affordable for families.
And it goes to show that when we work together – and when we move beyond partisan interests – we can make real progress for Canadian families.
Supporting middle class families has always been at the heart of our work to build a stronger Canada.
Just take a look at the numbers.
We introduced the Canada Child Benefit five years ago, and since then, nearly 435,000 kids have been lifted out of poverty across the country.
Thanks to the CCB, parents have been able to rely on hundreds of dollars and extra help, tax free, every month.
That’s five years of direct support to millions of families for everything from healthy meals to kids’ boots to after-school clubs.
Last week, we increased the benefit once again to keep up with the rising cost of living and put even more money back in parents’ pockets.
The new maximum benefit will give families $350 more per child than when the CCB was first introduced.
And to help kids thrive particularly after a really tough year, families already receiving the CCB will get an additional $1,200 per child under 6 this year.
So, parents, you can expect some extra money coming to you as of this Friday.
Whether it’s the CCB increase or today’s announcement, we’re making sure that everyone has the same access to opportunities, from a very young age.
Let’s keep working together to make Canada the best place to be a child, and also to be a parent.
Before finishing, I would like to once again thank Premier King and his team for their leadership and collaboration.
Dennis, you’ve always been a strong partner on childcare.
The same goes for other shared priorities like fighting COVID-19, climate change, taking care of vulnerable people.
I look forward to continuing to work together.