Transcript: Whose Child Care Plan is Best? | Sep 14, 2021

Steve Paikin sits at the Agenda news desk. He wears a dark suit and a purple tie. A monitor behind him shows a red lowercase ‘a’. Paikin interlocks his fingers as he rests his hands on the desk. Papers, a cell phone, and a glass of water sit in front of him.

Text reads, “Whose Child Care Plan is the Best?”

Paikin begins,
FOR FAMILIES WITH
SMALL CHILDREN, CHILD CARE COULD
WELL BE THE MAKE OR BREAK ISSUE
DETERMINING HOW THEY VOTE NEXT
WEEK. WITH US ON THE CHOICES ON
OFFER, WE WELCOME, IN THE NATION'S
CAPITAL: ECONOMIST ARMINE
YALNIZYAN. ATKINSON FELLOW ON THE
FUTURE OF WORKERS AND
NEWLY-MINTED COLUMNIST FOR THE
"TORONTO STAR." CONGRATS ON
THAT ARMINE.

Armine Yalnizyan smiles widely.

Paikin continues,
AND ANDREA MROZEK IS HERE.
SENIOR FELLOW WITH THE
INDEPENDENT THINK TANK CARDUS.
DROP, IT'S BEEN TOO LONG SINCE
YOU WERE ON THE PROGRAM SO WE
WELCOME YOU BACK AS WELL.
I'M JUST GOING TO TAKE A MINUTE
HERE AND READ SOME OF THE PLANKS
IN THE THREE MAIN PARTY PLATFORMS
DEALING WITH CHILD CARE. SO,
SHELDON, IF YOU WOULD, LET'S GO
WITH THIS.

Text reads, Comparing the Promises, Liberals and NDP.

Paikin adds,
HERE'S WHERE THE NDP AND
LIBERALS CURRENTLY SIT.
THEY'RE IN FAVOUR OF THE $10 A
DAY UNIVERSAL CHILD CARE BY
2026. AVERAGE FEES CUT IN HALF
2027. BY 2022 FOR ALL FAMILIES.
THE COST OF THIS IS ABOUT $30
BILLION OVER FIVE YEARS TO SET
UP THE PROGRAM AND THEN $8
BILLION PER YEAR AFTER THAT.
THE CONSERVATIVES, CONVERSELY,
HAVE A DIFFERENT APPROACH.
THEY WOULD REPEAL THE CHILD CARE
AGREEMENTS INCLUDING FOR
PROVINCES WHICH HAVE ALREADY
SIGNED DEALS WITH THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT.
THAT'S BASICALLY ALBERTA AND
ONTARIO AND NEW BRUNSWICK WHO
HAVE NOT.
THE OTHER SEVEN PROVINCES HAVE
AND ONE TERRITORY HAS.
THEY WOULD REPLACE THE CHILD
CARE EXPENSE DEDUCTION WITH A
REFUNDABLE TAX CREDIT FOR
FAMILIES REACHING UP TO $6,000
PER YEAR FOR THE LOWEST INCOME
FAMILIES AND THE COSTS OF THEIR
PROGRAM RUN TO ABOUT $2.3
BILLION PER YEAR. OKAY.
LET'S -- I MEAN I KNOW WHAT BOTH
OF YOU ARE GOING TO SAY IN
ANSWER TO THIS FIRST QUESTION
BUT LET'S GET YOU POSITIONS ON
THE RECORD ANY WAY.
ANDREA, WHICH IS THE PREFERABLE
APPROACH IN YOUR VIEW?

Andrea Mrozek replies,
UMM, WE PREFER ANYTHING THAT
RECOGNIZES A REAL DIVERSITY
OF CARE AND CARE OPTIONS THAT
PARENTS ARE CHOOSING. SO CHILD
CARE IS THE CARE OF THE CHILD NO
MATTER WHO DOES IT. AND
AS A RESULT, THERE IS GREATER
DIVERSITY IN THE REFUNDABLE TAX
CREDIT PROPOSAL.
IT ALSO HELPS LOWER-INCOME
PEOPLE MORE.
THE MAIN PROBLEM I SEE WITH
NATIONAL DAYCARE OF ANY KIND IS
THAT WHILE IT SOUNDS NICE AND
CERTAINLY ANY PARENT WOULD JUMP
AT THE CHANCE TO PAY A LOT LESS
FOR CHILD CARE, IT CAN'T
POSSIBLY DELIVER WHAT IT SAYS IT
WILL. AND SO THERE'S A LOT OF
AGREEMENT, ACTUALLY ACROSS THE
SPECTRUM THAT IN THE SHORT TO
MEDIUM-TERM WE'LL HAVE WAIT
LISTS AND SHORTAGES OF CHILD
CARE SHOULD WE CHOOSE TO GO DOWN
THAT PATH.

Text reads, “Whose Child Care Plan is Best. Evaluating the Platforms.”

Paikin continues,
OKAY, ARMINE, YOUR VIEW.

Armine responds,
THERE IS A LOT OF
AGREEMENT THAT WE WILL HAVE
SHORTAGES AND WAITLISTS SHOULD
WE GO DOWN THAT PATH OR THE PATH
OF TAX CREDITS BECAUSE TAX
CREDITS DO NOTHING TO ADD SUPPLY.
AND WITH RESPECT TO POORER
FAMILIES GETTING MORE HELP
THROUGH THE TAX CREDIT, IN THE
VERSION THAT THE CONSERVATIVES
HAVE PRESENTED THAT IS TRUE, BUT
ONLY ABOUT 0.1% OF FAMILIES DO
GET MORE HELP.
UNDER THE LIBERAL/NDP-ENFORCED
PLAN, POORER FAMILIES GET MORE
ECONOMIC SUPPORT AND THERE IS A
PLAN THAT IS NOT COOKIE CUTTER
PLAN THAT THE EIGHT PROVINCES
AND THE ONE TERRITORY THAT HAVE
SIGNED HAVE EACH GOT THEIR OWN
PRIORITIES ON HOW TO INCLUDE
BOTH THE QUANTITY AND QUALITY OF
CARE.
AND IT IS DEFINITELY NOT JUST
QUALITY OF CARE BUT QUANTITY OF
CARE THAT WE ARE LOOKING TO
IMPROVE. WE DID NOT BUILD A
HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, OR A PUBLIC
EDUCATION SYSTEM WITHOUT IT
BEING REGULATED AND WE NEED TO
DO THE SAME THING FOR THE SOCIAL
REVOLUTION THAT IS TAKING PLACE
AMONGST YOUNG PARENTS WITH KIDS.
WE WENT FROM THE MINORITY OF
BOTH PARENTS WORKING TO THE
MAJORITY OF BOTH PARENTS WORKING
WITHOUT A PUBLIC POLICY RESPONSE.
IN TWO GENERATIONS IT'S TIME TO
ACT.

Paikin asks,
OK QUICK FOLLOW UP WITH YOU ARMINE,
HAVE YOU CRUNCHED THE NUMBERS
ENOUGH TO TELL US HOW MUCH THE
AVERAGE FAMILY WOULD SAVE UNDER
THE LIBERAL/NDP-ENDORSED PROPOSAL?

Armine says,
THE CONSERVATIVES DID SLASH
THEIR OWN NUMBERS FOR US.
TELLING US THE MAXIMUM RETURN,
TAX CREDIT WOULD BE $6,000.
SO YOU HAVE TO PAY UPFRONT BUT
YOU WOULD GET UP TO $6,000 BACK IF
YOU ARE A POOR ENOUGH FAMILY.
THEIR OWN MEASURES INDICATE THAT
THAT WOULD -- BECAUSE IT'S
BASICALLY BASED ON THE ONTARIO
TAX CREDIT PLAN THAT WOULD THEN
GET GET NATIONALIZED.
AND THAT WOULD EFFECT LESS THAN
1% OF FAMILIES WITH KIDS.
SO IT'S NOT GOING TO BRING MUCH
HELP.
WHEN IT'S THE MOST GENEROUS IT'S
NOT GOING TO BRING MUCH HELP TO
THE LOWEST FAMILIES PLUS IT
DOESN'T ADD ANY MORE SPACES IT'S
JUST HELPING FAMILIES THAT
ALREADY HAVE CARE.
WHEN IT COMES TO THE LIBERAL
PLAN, IF YOU ARE USING INFANT
DAYCARE IN TORONTO, INSTEAD OF
$6,000 YOU COULD BE SAVING OVER
$10,000.
ONCE WE GET TO THE $10 A DAY.
BUT EVEN IN THE PERIOD TO THE
END OF 2022 WHICH IS WHEN YOU'RE
CUTTING YOUR FEES IN HALF,
YOU'RE VERY CLOSE TO THAT $6,000
MARK THAT THE CONSERVATIVES
PROMISED. BUT CHILD CARE COSTS VARY
DRAMATICALLY ACROSS THE COUNTRY.
SO TO BRING IT DOWN TO A UNIFORM
AVERAGE, $10 A DAY FOR ALL AGE
GROUPS OF PRE-SCHOOLERS IS GOING
TO BE MORE DIFFICULT IN SOME
JURISDICTIONS THAN OTHERS.
SO IT REALLY DEPENDS WHERE YOU
LIVE AND WHETHER YOU'VE GOT AN
INFANT OR PRE-SCHOOLER, A
TODDLER, A PRE-SCHOOLER OR A
SCHOOL-AGED CHILD WHAT KIND OF
HELP YOU ARE GOING TO GET.

Paikin responds,
OKAY, LET ME GET ANDREA TO
GIVE HER VIEW ON HOW SHE HAS
CRUNCHED THE NUMBERS AND HOW THE
PLAN SHE PREFERS WOULD HELP
PARENTS AND BY HOW MUCH.

Andrea states,
SO, FIRST OF ALL IT'S NOT
TRUE THAT REFUNDABLE TAX CREDITS
DON'T CREATE SPACES. WE DO HAVE
RESEARCH SUGGESTING THAT THEY
DO. SO WE ACTUALLY HAVE PROOF
OF THAT WITHIN CANADA.
WHEN QUEBEC CREATED THEIR
PROVINCIAL DAYCARE SYSTEM, IT
CREATED THE EXPECTED SHORTAGES
BY ERADICATING OTHER FORM FORM
OF CARE. UMM, YOU KNOW,
IT MAKES SENSE THAT IF YOU
CHOOSE TO FUND ONLY ONE FORM OF
CARE, LICENCED SPACES, THEN OTHER
FORMS OF CARE WILL NOT BE ABLE
TO COMPETE. AND THAT'S PRECISELY
WHAT HAPPENED IN QUEBEC.
AND WHAT DID THEY DO TO BRING
SUPPLY BACK?
THEY CREATED A TAX CREDIT.
THIS TAX CREDIT COULD JUST AS
WELL BE BASED ON THE QUEBEC
MODEL OF HOW THEY GOT THAT CARE
TO COME BACK.
SO, AGAIN, IT'S A VERY LIMITED
VIEW OF CHILD CARE THAT THOSE
WHO SUPPORT NATIONAL DAYCARE
HAVE.
I BELIEVE THAT CHILD CARE IS THE
CARE OF A CHILD NO MATTER WHO
DOES IT.
IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE A
PROFESSIONAL PAID.
IT COULD BE FAMILIES AND IT CAN
BE HOME-BASED, UNLICENSED
DAYCARES.
THERE IS A LOT OF CARE THAT'S
HAPPENING THAT WE JUST IGNORE IF
WE EXCLUSIVELY LOOK TO THE
LICENCED SYSTEM.
AND I'M REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT
STEAMROLLING THE EXISTING
ECOSYSTEM OF CARE, FINDING
OURSELVES IN A CRISIS THAT WE
HAVEN'T SEEN BEFORE IN CANADA
FOR THE SHORTAGES THAT IT WILL
CREATE.

Paikin says,
NOW, WE'RE REALLY
GETTING TO THE NUB OF THE
DISAGREEMENT BETWEEN YOU TWO
NOW. WHICH IS GOOD. SO LET'S
FOCUS ON THIS A LITTLE BIT MORE.
ARMINE, YOU HAVE HEARD THE
SUGGESTION FROM ANDREA THAT
WHILE YOU PREFER A PROPOSAL THAT
CREATES NEW SPACES AND ALLOWS
PARENTS A MORE AFFORDABLE OPTION
THAN CURRENTLY EXISTS IF THEY
WANT THAT OPTION, YOUR PLAN
DOESN'T TAKE INTO ACCOUNT -- OR
THE PLAN YOU ENDORSE DOESN'T
TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE OTHER
OPTIONS, FOR EXAMPLE, STAY AT
HOME PARENTS WHO WOULD LIKE TO
TAKE CARE OF THEIR CHILD AT HOME
AND STILL RECOGNIZE SOME KIND OF
TAX ADVANTAGE FOR DOING SO.
COULD YOU SPEAK TO THAT?

Armine responds,
WE DO HAVE TAX
ADVANTAGES FOR PARENTS THAT
CHOOSE TO STAY AT HOME AND WE
ALSO HAVE THE CANADA CHILD
BENEFIT WHICH HAS BEEN DOUBLED
BY EVERY SINGLE CONSERVATIVE OR
LIBERAL GOVERNMENT THAT HAS COME
INTO POWER AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL
SINCE 1993.
WE'VE POURED BILLIONS UPON
BILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO SUPPORT
FAMILIES TO STAY AT HOME AND
TAKE CARE OF THEIR KIDS.
BUT SOMEWHERE AROUND THE 80s,
YOUNG FAMILIES WITH KIDS WENT
FROM 35% WITH ONLY ONE PARENT
WORKING TO OVER THREE QUARTERS.
SO FROM JUST A BIT OVER A THIRD
OF BOTH PARENTS WORKING AND
FAMILIES RAISING KIDS TO THREE
QUARTERS OF BOTH PARENTS
WORKING. WE NEED MORE HELP.
WE HAVE NOT CREATED SPACES.
IT IS INCORRECT TO SAY THAT THE
EXISTING PLAN THAT HAS BEEN
SIGNED BY SEVEN PROVINCES AND
ONE TERRITORY WAS BEING NEGOTIATED
BY ONTARIO AS WELL WHICH WOULD
HAVE STOOD TO RECEIVE $11 BILLION.
IT IS UNFAIR TO SAY -- AND
INCORRECT TO SAY -- THAT IT
WOULD IGNORE WHAT EXISTS.
IT KEEPS IN PLACE WHAT EXISTS.
IT SIMPLY SAYS WE NEED TO ADD
CAPACITY.
AND WHEN WE ADD CAPACITY USING
THE TAXPAYER'S DOLLAR, WE DON'T
DO IT BY NOT PLANNING THE
QUALITY AND QUANTITY AND
LOCATION OF CARE WE NEED.
SO IT REQUIRES PLANNING.
JUST LIKE BUILDING A HOSPITAL.
JUST LIKE BUILDING A SCHOOL.
WE NEED TO PLAN SPACES OR THERE
IS NO BONA FIDE CHOICE FOR
PARENTS.
PARTICULARLY LOW-INCOME PARENTS
WHO FACE THE BIGGEST CHILD
CARE DESERT AND HAVE TO
SCRAMBLE.
WE'VE BEEN SCRAMBLING FOR FIFTY
YEARS AS PARENTS OF CHILDREN.
IT'S TIME TO STOP SCRAMBLING AND
START MAXIMIZING THE POTENTIAL
OF BOTH PARENTS AND CHILDREN BY
PROVIDING GOOD QUALITY CARE.
TO SAY THAT IT'S UNLICENSED AND
UNREGULATED AND THAT MAKES IT
GREAT, THAT'S NONSENSE.
YOU WOULDN'T DO THAT FOR YOUR
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT.
YOU WOULDN'T THINK THAT
UNREGULATED TEACHERS FOR YOUR
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT WOULD BE
ACCEPTABLE.
THAT YOUR FRAIL GRANDMOTHER
BEING IN A LONG-TERM CARE
FACILITY SHOULD HAVE NO
STANDARDS OF CARE, NO
ENFORCEABLE REGULATIONS ON HOW
THAT CARE IS PROVIDED?
AND WE CERTAINLY WOULDN'T DO IT
IN HOSPITALS.
WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE CARE
ECONOMY WE NEED TO SET
STANDARDS IN PLACE.
THERE WILL ALWAYS BE PEOPLE WHO
OPERATE OUTSIDE OF THAT.
NOBODY'S TAKING CARE AWAY FROM
THEM BUT WHEN YOU PRESENT
PARENTS WITH THE CHOICE OF
HAVING HIGH QUALITY, AFFORDABLE,
LICENSED CARE, THAT'S WHAT THEY
WILL RUN, NOT WALK TO.

Paikin asks,
OKAY, ANDREA, YOU WANT
TO COME BACK ON THAT?

Andrea responds,
PARENTS NEED TO
CHOOSE THE QUALITY.
THE PARENTS ARE THE ONES WHO
CHOOSE THE QUALITY.
AND I SAY THAT.
I STAND IN FAVOUR OF ALL THE
DIFFERENT OPTIONS THAT PARENTS
ARE USING.
COULD BE LICENSED CENTRES, COULD
BE UNLICENSED CARE IN HOMES
COULD BE A VARIETY OF OTHER
CARES, CARE FORMS.
I HAPPEN TO BE THE MOM OF A
2-YEAR-OLD RIGHT NOW USING A
MYRIAD OF DIFFERENT FORMS ALL AT
THE SAME TIME.
AND WEAVING TOGETHER A REALLY
RICH TAPESTRY OF CARE THAT I
HAVE DECIDED FOR OUR FAMILY IS
THE BEST QUALITY THAT WE CAN
POSSIBLY GET.
IT IS PATRONIZING FRANKLY TO
SUGGEST THAT FAMILIES WHO ARE
DOING THAT ARE NOT ABLE TO
DISCERN WHAT IS QUALITY AND
SOMETHING I'VE SAID BEFORE AND I
WILL SAY HERE NOW IS THAT
REGARDLESS OF WHO'S PROVIDING
THE CARE, IF IT'S A PUBLIC
LICENSED CENTRE, PARENTS NEED TO
BE GOING IN THERE.
THERE NEED TO BE MARKERS OF
WHAT'S QUALITY.
AND THAT NEEDS TO BE EASILY
DISCERNIBLE TO PARENTS AT ALL
POINTS IN TIME.
BUT CHILD CARE DESERTS ONLY COME
UP WHEN YOU ARE ONLY MEASURING
LICENSED CARE.
SO, AGAIN, THAT'S A FRUSTRATION
BECAUSE, FOR EXAMPLE, BRAMPTON
IS APPARENTLY A DESERT BUT
OAKVILLE IS AN OASIS. SO YOU GOT
WEALTHY WHERE PARENTS APPARENTLY
WANTED THAT TYPE OF CARE AND THEY
BUILT IT, AND BRAMPTON HAS OTHER
FORMS OF CARE.
THERE IS A HIGHER PROPORTION OF
SOUTH ASIANS AND IMMIGRANTS FROM
DIFFERENT COMMUNITIES WHO HAVE
DIFFERENT VALUES AROUND CHILD
CARE. THESE VALUES NEED TO BE
RECOGNIZED AND THEY NEED TO BE
ACCEPTED AND NOT JUDGED AS BEING
INFERIOR IN FAVOUR OF ANOTHER
SYSTEM THAT, AS I'VE MENTIONED
ALREADY, IS UNLIKELY TO DELIVER
THE SPACES EVEN FOR THOSE
PARENTS WHO REALLY WANT TO USE
THEM.

Paikin adds,
CAN I DO A QUICK
FOLLOW UP WITH YOU HERE NOW,
ANDREA, THAT IS CAN YOU SPEAK TO
THE CRITICISM THAT ONE HEARS
THAT THE CONSERVATIVE PLAN WILL
COST BILLIONS OF DOLLARS AND
WON'T ACTUALLY CREATE ANY NEW
SPACES.
WE'VE HEARD THAT CRITICISM EVEN
IN THIS DISCUSSION HERE.
CAN YOU SPEAK TO THAT?
AND WHY THE CONSERVATIVE OPTION
WOULD BE PREFERABLE GIVEN THAT
IT WOULD COST BILLIONS AND NOT
CREATE NEW SPACES?

Andrea replies,
WELL, ON THE COSTS,
YOU'RE LOOKING AT -- IT'S NOT
EVEN THE SAME SPHERE OF COST.
A NATIONAL DAYCARE SYSTEM TO BE
GOOD QUALITY AND TRULY UNIVERSAL
WOULD NEED TO BE FUNDED AT A
VERY MUCH HIGHER LEVEL THAN WHAT
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS
CURRENTLY OFFERING.
WE DID AN EXTENSIVE COSTING
ASSESSMENT OF WHAT NATIONAL
DAYCARE IN CANADA WOULD TRULY
COST.
AND A LOW-QUALITY SYSTEM CAME IN
AT $17 BILLION ANNUALLY.
AND THEN USING BETTER RATIOS --
SO THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN PER
ADULT RANG IN AT OVER $36
BILLION ANNUALLY.
SO WHEN WE LOOK AT THE BUDGET,
OF COURSE IF YOU LOOK AT THE
FEDERAL ALLOCATION OF FUNDS,
THEY'RE ONLY GIVING A CERTAIN
AMOUNT.
IN ONTARIO, THEY WOULD PROBABLY
NEED TO SPEND UPWARDS OF $9
BILLION ANNUALLY TO GET A SYSTEM
FOR JUST THE PROVINCE OF
ONTARIO.
THE FACT THAT ONTARIO HASN'T
SIGNED, THEY'RE RIGHT TO BE
CAUTIOUS.
UNLESS THE BILLIONS FROM THE
FEDS COME IN IN A VERY FLEXIBLE
WAY, ONTARIO RISKS ERADICATING
ALL THOSE OTHER FORMS OF CARE
THAT PARENTS ARE ALREADY USING
AND THEN ALSO NEEDING TO COUGH
UP $9 BILLION ANNUALLY.
SO A REFUNDABLE TAX CREDIT COSTS
MONEY, YES.
RESEARCH, THERE ARE STUDYING
SUGGESTING IT CREATES SPACES AND
THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT IT DID IN
QUEBEC.
THE FACT THAT MY OPPONENTS ON
THIS DON'T LIKE THE SPACES IT
CREATES IS SOMETHING THAT I
THINK THEY SHOULD ANSWER TO NOT
ME.

Text reads, “Whose Child Care Plan is Best? Problems and Outcomes.”

Paikin says,
WELL, OKAY, DO YOU WANT TO ANSWER
TO THAT ARMINE?

Armine asks,
OH, WHERE TO START?
THERE IS A CORNUCOPIA OF THINGS
THAT CAN BE RESPONDED TO IN THAT
ANSWER.
SO THE REASON WHY THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT IS NOT DOING THE
WHOLE NINE YARDS ACCORDING TO
ANDREA'S CALCULATIONS, IS
BECAUSE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
IS CATCHING UP TO WHERE THE
PROVINCES ARE AT.
THEY WANT TO BECOME AN EQUAL
PLAYER IN AN AREA OF PUBLIC
POLICY THAT HAS NOT BEEN
ADDRESSED BY ANY FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT FOR FIFTY YEARS.
AND CANADA CAME IN IN DEAD LAST
PLACE IN AN OECD STUDY ON HOW DO
GOVERNMENTS IN IT’S ENTIRETY
DEAL WITH CHILD CARE ISSUES IN
THE OECD COUNTRIES.
THAT'S TWENTY-SEVEN COUNTRIES.
SO WE'VE GOT NOTHING TO BRAG
ABOUT THIS FAR AND HAVING THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WANT TO WEIGH
IN TO HELP ADD SPACE I AM JUST
GOING TO UNDERSCORE AGAIN,
ANDREA IS INCORRECT IN SAYING
THAT ANY OF THE FEDERAL PLANS
WOULD GET RID OF SPACES. ALL
THEY'RE DOING IS ADDING SPACES.
BUT WHEN THEY ADD SPACES THEY'RE
NOT GOING TO BE ADDING
UNLICENSED SPACES BECAUSE THEY
WANT TO SEE, AS ALL TAXPAYERS
SHOULD, WHAT ARE WE GETTING FOR
OUR MONEY WHICH REQUIRES SOME
SORT OF REGULATIONS SO YOU CAN
GET SOME KIND OF REPORT BACK
FROM IT. I WOULD SAY ANYBODY THAT'S
INTERESTED IN A GOOD USE OF
PUBLIC DOLLARS SHOULD ACTUALLY
LOVE THAT.
I WANT TO REMIND PEOPLE THAT THE
CHILD CARE DESERT IN BRAMPTON ARE
NOT THERE BECAUSE OF THE
FAMILIES IN BRAMPTON HAVE
DIFFERENT VALUES THAN FAMILIES
IN OAKVILLE.
IT'S BECAUSE THEY CAN'T AFFORD
THE QUALITY OF CARE THAT IT
COSTS TO PROVIDE HIGH QUALITY
LICENSED CARE.
AND SO THAT'S PART OF WHAT THIS
FEDERAL PLAN IS ABOUT IN THE
PROVINCES THAT HAVE SIGNED DEALS
EACH PROVINCE HAS SAID WHERE
THEY WISH TO PRIORITIZE THE
EXPANSION OF THE SPACE.
QUEBEC'S PREMIER LEGAULT
CAMPAIGNED IN 2018 ON BRINGING
FULL-DAY JUNIOR KINDERGARTEN TO
THE PROVINCE.
ONTARIO IS THE LEADER IN THAT.
NOT BECAUSE OF PREMIER DOUG FORD
BUT BECAUSE OF PREMIER DALTON
McGUINTY AND WYNNE.
BUT WE ARE THE LEADER IN
OFFERING FREE TO THE PARENTS,
FREE FULL-DAY, JUNIOR
KINDERGARTEN IF PARENTS WISH TO
SEND THEIR 4-YEAR-OLDS THERE AND
OVER 90% OF FAMILIES DO WISH TO
DO THAT.

Paikin says,
LET ME JUMP IN FOR A SECOND.

Armine interrupts,
…IT DOESN’T WORK
BEYOND 3 O'CLOCK IN THE
AFTERNOON AND THAT'S WHY PARENTS
LIKE ANDREA HAVE TO DO A PATCH
WORK OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF
SYSTEMS.
AND I COMPLETELY AGREE WE NEED A
HUGE VARIETY OF CARE.
BUT WHEN THE PUBLIC TAXPAYER
PAYS FOR THE EXPANSION OF A
SYSTEM IT SHOULD NOT BE
UNREGULATED.
WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO HAVE A SAY
IN THE QUALITY AND THE QUANTITY
AND LOCATION OF CARE HERE.

Paikin asks,
ANDREA, IS IT YOUR
VIEW, THOUGH, THAT THE CURRENT
FEDERAL LIBERAL GOVERNMENT'S
PLAN INCENTIVIZES -- I DON'T
KNOW -- INAPPROPRIATELY OR
UNFAIRLY ONE ASPECT OF CHILD
CARE OVER OTHERS AND THAT'S WHAT
YOU OBJECT TO?
HAVE I GOT THAT RIGHT?

Andrea answers,
ABSOLUTELY, YEAH.
AND I DON'T FIND THAT ARMINE IS
ADEQUATELY RESPONDING TO WHAT
HAPPENED IN QUEBEC.
THERE IS DEFINITELY EVIDENCE
THAT THEY CREATED THEIR
PROVINCIAL SYSTEM THERE AND THEN
OTHER FORMS OF CARE FELL BY THE
WAYSIDE. WE HAVE THAT EVIDENCE,
INCIDENTALLY IN CANADA ALREADY.
SO WHEN THE FEDERAL BUDGET WAS
ANNOUNCED AND MONEY WAS GOING TO
BE PUT INTO LICENSED CARE, ONE
FORM OF CARE, ROUGHLY 30% OF
KIDS ARE IN THAT FORM.
I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH THAT FORM
OF CARE.
I THINK WE NEED THAT ALONG WITH
OTHER TYPES.
BUT THE PREFERENTIAL FUNDING OF
ONE FORM OF CARE. IT’S ECONOMICS
101. THEN SOME OF THE
PROVIDERS THAT IS ARE NOT ABLE TO
OFFER $10 A DAY DAYCARE.
THEY EITHER EXIT THE BUSINESS OR
THEY STRUGGLE TO COMPETE.
AND I GOT SEVERAL E-MAILS ON
THAT NOTE FROM PROVIDERS IN
BRITISH COLUMBIA AND, YOU KNOW,
BRITISH COLUMBIA'S FURTHER ALONG
IN THEIR PATH TO $10 A DAY
DAYCARE.
SO IT'S NOT AN EASY THING --
IT'S AN EASY THING TO SAY $10 A
DAY DAYCARE.
BUT THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS
ON HOW IT GETS ENACTED.
AND I DON'T SEE A WAY AROUND
THAT.
THE PATCHWORK OF CARE THAT
PEOPLE WEAVE TOGETHER WITHIN
THEIR FAMILIES IS SOMETHING THAT
IS DESIRED.
SO IF YOU ASK PARENTS, IT'S NOT
AFFORDABILITY IS AN ISSUE IN
CHILD CARE -- HEAR ME WHEN I SAY
THAT.
BUT IT'S NOT THE FIRST ISSUE.
SO POLLS AND RESEARCH SUGGEST
THAT LOCATION IS A BIG ISSUE FOR
PARENTS.
AND THEN THE QUALITY OF CARE AND
THE PROVIDER AND WHO'S PROVIDING
THE CARE IS ALSO MORE IMPORTANT
TO PARENTS THAN AFFORDABILITY
ALONE.
SO AFFORDABILITY IS ONE FACTOR
AMONG MANY.
BUT SAYING YOU ARE GOING TO
OFFER $10 A DAY DAYCARE AND THEN
SUBSEQUENTLY NOT OFFERING IT AND
ERADICATING OTHER FORMS OF CARE
IS A VERY REAL POSSIBILITY IN
CANADA.

Armine responds,
NOBODY IS ERADICATING
ANY FORM OF CARE WITH THE $10 A
DAY CHILD CARE SYSTEM.
I DON'T KNOW WHY YOU KEEP SAYING
THIS THERE ASK NO EVIDENCE OF --

Andrea says,
THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED IN QUEBEC.

Armine continues,
INCLUDING THE
PROVINCES THAT ACCEPTED THE
DEAL, NOBODY'S TAKING ANYTHING
AWAY. YOU JUST CANNOT ADD
UNLICENSED CARE. NUMBER ONE.
NUMBER TWO, IN THE QUEBEC STORY,
YES, ADDING -- COMING DOWN TO
WHAT WAS ORIGINALLY $5 A DAY,
NOW IT'S $8.50 DID CREATE SPACES
BECAUSE DARN RIGHT YOU ARE GOING
TO CREATE DEMAND BUT DIDN'T
CREATE ENOUGH LICENSED SPACES.
THAT'S THE REASON WHY THE QUEBEC
SYSTEM SUCKS AS MUCH AS IT DOES
AND THAT'S WHY THE QUEBEC
GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN TALKING
ABOUT FULL-DAY KINDERGARTEN,
MORE CENTRES FOR LITTLE CHILDREN.
ALL OF THEM ARE LICENSED FORMS
OF CARE BECAUSE THEY RECOGNIZE
THE QUALITY ISSUE.
NUMBER THREE, ANDREA, IF
AFFORDABILITY ISN'T ON THE TOP
OF THE LIST WHY ARE YOU TALKING
ABOUT A TAX CREDIT?
IF LOCATION AND QUALITY ARE AT
THE TOP OF THE LIST WHY AREN'T
WE TALKING ABOUT HOW WE CAN PLAN
FOR THE BEST AVAILABILITY,
ACCESSIBILITY AND QUALITY OF CARE
FOR OUR YOUNGEST LEARNERS AND
MOST VULNERABLE CITIZENS?
WHY WOULD YOU ACCEPT THAT
CAREGIVERS WHO ARE NOT YOUR
PARENTS, NOT YOUR GRANDPARENTS
SHOULD NOT HAVE SOME KIND OF
STANDARDS OF CARE AND
QUALIFICATIONS TO TAKE CARE OF
YOUR YOUNG ONES?
IT'S JUST INCOMPREHENSIBLE FOR
ME FOR SOMEBODY WHO VALUES SO
MUCH THE QUALITY OF LIFE AND
YOUNG CHILDREN.
DON'T FOCUS ON TAX CREDITS.

Paikin says,
LET'S GET A RESPONSE TO THAT.

Andrea responds, I'M GLAD WE HAVE
AGREEMENT ON THE QUEBEC SYSTEM
BEING CRAPPY.
AND THE REALITY IS THAT TEN, TWENTY
YEARS LATER NOW, THERE STILL ARE
NOT ENOUGH OF THOSE LICENSED
SPACES WHICH IS EXACTLY MY POINT.
AND I THINK THAT PARENTS NEED TO
BE AWARE OF THAT TWENTY YEARS
DOWN THE ROAD FROM LAUNCHING
THIS CANADA-WIDE SYSTEM WE'RE
STILL GOING TO BE SEEKING OUT
MORE LICENSED SPACES.
THE WAITLISTS WILL REMAIN.
THE AUDITOR-GENERAL IN QUEBEC
HAS REPORTED VERY RECENTLY THAT
THERE ARE WAITLISTS AND THERE
ARE NOT ENOUGH SPACES.
SO I THINK THAT JUST MAKES MY
POINT FOR ME.
THAT WE ARE EMBARKING ON
SOMETHING THAT IS RIFE WITH
PROBLEMS AND I DEFINITELY
DISAGREE ON THE NATURE OF
ERADICATING CARE WHEN I HAVE
E-MAILS IN MY INBOX FROM
PROVIDERS SAYING THAT THEY'RE
GOING TO EXIT THE INDUSTRY
KNOWING THAT THEY'RE NOT GOING
TO GET ANY MONEY FROM THE
GOVERNMENT.
AGAIN, PARENTS ARE THE ARBITERS
OF WHAT CONSTITUTES GOOD CARE
FOR THEM AND THEY CAN DO IT AND
I THINK WE CAN GIVE THEM TOOLS
TO DO IT. BUT FAMILY IS A HUGE
PART OF THIS STORY. IN FACT I
WOULD ARGUE IT'S THE WHOLE STORY.
AND WHEN WE DO CHILD DEVELOPMENT
AND CHILD CARE RIGHT, WE'RE
GOING TO BE HAVING A HIGHER
LEVEL OF INVOLVEMENT OF FAMILIES
AND PARENTS IN WHATEVER FORM OF
CARE THEY CHOOSE.

Paikin adds,
I'M HAPPY TO BE
LEARNING THESE NEW TECHNICAL
CHILD CARE TERMS SUCH AS SUCKS
AND CRAPPY.
THESE ARE VERY HELPFUL TO ME TO
SEE WHAT'S GOING ON HERE.
WE'VE GOT A COUPLE OF MINUTES
LEFT AND ARMINE LET ME TRY THIS
OUT WITH YOU: YOU KNOW, THIS IS
AN EXPENSIVE ISSUE, TO BE SURE.
AND UNLIKE HOSPITALS WHICH
PEOPLE WILL USE FROM CRADLE TO
GRAVE, THIS IS ONE OF THOSE
ISSUES THAT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO
OBVIOUSLY PARENTS.
BUT FOR A RELATIVELY SHORT
PERIOD OF TIME IN THEIR LIVES
THAT THEY'RE PARENTS.
AND, OF COURSE, THERE ARE A
WHOLE BUNCH OF PEOPLE OUT THERE
WHO DON'T HAVE KIDS AT ALL SO
THIS MAY NOT BE AN ISSUE FOR
THEM AT ALL.
AND THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE LIKE
ANDREA AND THOSE WHO AGREE WITH
HER, WHO THINK THAT THE APPROACH
YOU WANT TO TAKE DOESN'T TAKE
INTO ACCOUNT THE SACRIFICES THAT
THEY MAKE TO STAY HOME WITH
THEIR CHILDREN AND FORGO WHATEVER
INCOME IS INVOLVED IN THAT.
I GUESS MY QUESTION FOR YOU IS
HOW WOULD YOU CONVINCE THOSE WHO
ARE SCEPTICAL ABOUT THIS KIND OF
OUTLAY THAT IT'S WORTH DOING?

Armine responds,
I WILL START WITH FAMILIES THAT ARE
ABLE TO KEEP ONE PARENT HOME.
LESS THAN 20% OF ALL FAMILIES
WITH YOUNG CHILDREN -- GOD BLESS
YOU IF YOU CAN DO IT -- THERE
ARE OVER 80% OF YOUNG FAMILIES
WITH CHILDREN WHO CANNOT OR ARE
NOT STAYING AT HOME. I WILL REMIND
YOU THAT HASN'T CHANGED BASICALLY
IN THE LAST FIFTEEN YEARS.
I WILL REMIND YOU THAT CHILD
CARE IS THE EQUIVALENT OF A
MORTGAGE AND MOST YOUNG FAMILIES
OVER HALF OF OUR PRE-SCHOOLERS
LIVE IN SEVEN CITIES AND THOSE ARE
THE SEVEN CITIES WHERE THE COST
OF HOUSING HAS SOARED. PEOPLE
HAVE TO WORK TO LIVE. AS A FAMILY.
I THINK IT'S GREAT IF YOU CAN
TAKE CARE OF YOUR FAMILY
NOBODY'S TRYING TO STOP YOU FROM
DOING THAT.
WE HAVE POURED MONEY INTO THE
CHILD BENEFITS TO BE ABLE TO HELP
PARENTS MAKE THAT CHOICE.
NOW IT'S TIME TO HELP PARENTS
MAKE THE CHOICE OF BEING ABLE TO
WORK AND DEPLOY THEIR HUMAN
CAPITAL WITHOUT IT ACTUALLY
BREAKING THE BANK.
CHILD CARE COSTS IN MANY BIG
CITIES ARE THE EQUIVALENT OF
ANOTHER MORTGAGE.
AND WE HAVE NO CHOICE FOR THEM.
WE HAVE NO SYSTEMATIC APPROACH
TO MAKE CHILD CARE, AND HIGH
QUALITY CHILD CARE AFFORDABLE.
AND I WILL FINISH BY SAYING EVEN
IF YOU DON'T LIKE KIDS, MUCH
LESS HAVE THEM, IT WILL MAKE A
DIFFERENCE TO YOU.
BECAUSE WHAT IT WILL DO IS
PERMIT, YOU KNOW -- PEOPLE LOVE
TO SAY BUSINESSES CREATE JOBS,
IT'S NOT BUSINESS THAT IS CREATE
JOBS, ITS CUSTOMERS.
IF YOU ARE PERMITTING FAMILIES
THAT ARE THE BIGGEST SPENDING
BLOCK IN SOCIETY AND SOCIETY'S
ECONOMY RUNS ON 57% OF THE
ECONOMY RUNS ON HOUSEHOLD
SPENDING, FAMILIES WITH YOUNG
KIDS ARE THE BIGGEST SPENDING
BLOCK THERE.
IF YOU PERMIT THE PEOPLE WHO DO
WANT TO WORK TO WORK AS THEY CAN
BECAUSE CHILD CARE IS NOT A
BOTTLENECK FOR THEM, THEN
YOU -- AS A PERSON WHO DOESN'T
LIKE CHILDREN OR DOESN'T HAVE
CHILDREN WILL BE BENEFITING FROM
MORE CUSTOMERS AND THE ECONOMY
AS A WHOLE WILL BE BETTER.
BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE!
THE LAST THING I WILL RAISE IS
THAT WHEN WE PROVIDE HIGH
QUALITY CHILD CARE TO OUR
YOUNGEST LEARNERS, IT'S A
PEDAGOGY.
YOU DON'T FALL OFF THE TURNIP
TRUCK TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE
FACT THAT OUR BRAINS ARE HARD
WIRED FROM AGES ZERO TO FIVE.
BEFORE WE ENTER SCHOOL.
SO IF WE, I'M SURE THAT EVERY
CHILD IS LEARNING READY WHEN
THEY ENTER SCHOOL AND LEARNING
SUPPORTED AS THEY GO THROUGH
SCHOOL.
WE'RE GOING TO MAXIMIZE THEIR
LEARNING POTENTIAL AND WE'RE
GOING TO MAXIMIZE THEIR EARNING
POTENTIAL.
IT'S GOOD FOR US AS INDIVIDUALS.
IT'S GOOD FOR US AS A SOCIETY.
BOTH TODAY AND TOMORROW.
FOR OUR ECONOMIC AND OUR SOCIAL
POTENTIAL. IT'S THE SLAM DUNK.
PLUS IT PAYS FOR ITSELF
ACCORDING TO THE DATA IN QUEBEC.
SO LIKE I DON'T KNOW WHY WE
WOULDN'T BE DOING THIS?

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Paikin says,
ANDREA I WILL GIVE YOU THE LAST WORD.

Andrea replies,
SO THE RESEARCH ON CHILD
OUTCOMES IN QUEBEC IS VERY
POOR. WE AGREE THAT THAT'S NOT THE
BEST SYSTEM.
IT IS, UNFORTUNATELY, THE SYSTEM
THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS
MODELING THEIRS AFTER.
WHAT WE SEE IN THE RESEARCH IS
THAT TARGETING SOME FAMILIES WHO
ARE DISADVANTAGED CAN BENEFIT
FROM EARLY LEARNING PROGRAMS.
THAT'S NOT A MAJORITY.
AND SO THE NEED FOR A UNIVERSAL
SO-CALLED SYSTEM ISN'T SOMETHING
THAT WE SEE ACROSS THE BOARD.
IT WOULDN'T BE BENEFICIAL TO ALL
FAMILIES.
47% OF ONTARIO KIDS ARE CARED
FOR BY THEIR PARENTS.
AND THAT'S A SIGNIFICANT PORTION
OF CARE THAT IS IGNORED WHEN WE
FIND LICENSED SECTOR SPACES.
SO I FEEL LIKE, AGAIN, THE
FAMILY NEEDS TO BE AT THE
FOREFRONT OF OUR DISCUSSIONS OF
CHILD CARE.
CHILD CARE NEEDS TO BE WOVEN
INTO A COHESIVE FAMILY POLICY.
IT'S NOT JUST REFUNDABLE TAX
CREDITS, NO.
BUT DEVELOPMENTALLY, CHILDREN OF
THAT AGE ARE NOT THE SAME AS
GOING TO PUBLIC SCHOOL IN GRADE
ONE OR TWO OR THREE.
I THINK THAT THERE ARE
PRINCIPLES AND FACTORS THAT
MATTER MORE THAN PEDAGOGICAL
APPROACHES ALLOWING THEIR
DEVELOPMENT TO UNFOLD,
ATTACHMENT TO KEY CAREGIVERS, ET
CETERA.
FORTUNATELY, EVERYBODY ON THIS
PANEL WANTS HIGH-QUALITY CHILD
CARE.
BUT WHEN CHILD CARE IS THE CARE
OF A CHILD NO MATTER WHO DOES IT
AND PARENTS ARE MAKING DIFFERENT
CHOICES THEN WE NEED TO
STRENGTHEN THEIR ABILITY TO
PROVIDE HIGH-QUALITY CARE IN THE
TYPE OF CARE THAT THEY PREFER
FOR THEIR FAMILIES WHICH ISN'T
LICENSED CENTRE SPACES ACROSS
THE BOARD.
IT IS ONLY THAT FOR A MINORITY
OF PARENTS.

Paikin says,
I WANT TO THANK ANDREA
MROZEK AND ARMINE YALNIZYAN FOR
SO ELOQUENTLY AND PASSIONATELY
DEFENDING THEIR RESPECTIVE
POSITIONS ON THIS SUBJECT.
THIS IS THE LAST WORD FOR THIS
CONVERSATION. BUT SURELY NOT
THE LAST WORD ON THIS ISSUE.
THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ON TVO
TONIGHT.

Andrea and Armine reply, THANK YOU.

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