The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on our communities and economy alike. Children have faced isolation and interrupted learning. Working mothers have been hard hit and many have dropped out of the labour force to care for their children. In marginalized families, the impact has been even greater.

We need a solution that will put Canada on the best foot forward and we believe that early childhood education is the answer.

Early childhood education (ECE) creates a space where children play and learn together, guided by qualified educators. It makes for happier, healthier childhoods with learning benefits that carry forward to later school years and beyond.

The immediate spinoff benefits are also astounding. Economists have shown that early learning and child care pay for themselves in the short term through increased employment of parents. This leads to increased tax revenue, higher rates of economic growth and reduced social assistance costs.

The federal government has recognized the importance of a Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care system that is organized to support a parent’s work. Early Learning and Child Care is essential to the social infrastructure we need to strengthen Canada’s economy today while we prepare the next generation to participate in a thriving and diverse society.

The fact is that an Early Learning and Child Care system that is publicly funded and universally accessible is the smartest investment that Canada can make right now. It’s time for us to work together to finally make #ECEforCanada happen.