Kids First Parents Association of Canada

A Victory for Parents and Kids: NDP Switcheroo on Funding Parents

On Saturday (Sept 27—my baby turned 11 months) an NDP volunteer knocked at my door asking for my vote. I told her that the NDP's daycare favouring policy was a major concern to me. She was very sympathetic and agreed "it wasn't democratic," and said she'd take the feedback back to the campaign. I gave her my contact card for Kids First.


On Sunday NDP Leader Jack Layton announced that the "centrepiece" of the NDP's platform is a new child benefit that will provide up to $5,000/child/year up to age 18. It would combine existing benefits and credits and be non-taxable and be income based.

I don't suppose my Saturday chat was a determining factor, but I know that the NDP volunteer certainly did not know about this "centrepiece" platform. I also know that Ian Capstick, Jack Layton's press secretary, could not have known about it 2 weeks ago when we had a heated discussion about funding daycare and not parental child care or even when he called a few days later to apologize.


I can only assume that the NDP has switched gears after belatedly getting the message that daycare centres are not the be-all and end-all. As I have been saying for some year, funding daycare is a vote loser and funding parents is a vote winner.

The actual policy content and dollars involved are less significant than the change in rhetoric.

Parent empowerment is in, parent-bashing is out.

And that can only be good for kids. And for those of us doing the vast majority of the child care—mothers.

The Conservatives $100/month cheque, so much belittled in the last election and since by all other parties, coupled with the absolutely necessary cutting of public funding to some (not all) daycare-lobbyists set things in motion. Now, as featured parts of Liberal and NDP election platforms, the former critics promise not only to keep the $100/month "pin money," but also to increase it.

The Conservatives may have roused a sleeping giant, a giant that is quiet because it has no loud heavily funded voice, but not to be ignored at election time: the parental voting block.

The competition for the parental vote is on.

Helen Ward,
Kids First Parent Association of Canada

Kids First has no political or religious affiliation and seeks to
work with all parties and all interests to seek equality for all families.

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