Thursday, April 20, 2006

Bill C-206: An Opportunity to Actual Improve Child Care in Canada

Some how I got a hold of a copy of Bill C-206, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act (extension of benefit period for parental leave) today and realized that Paul Szabo, MP has created an excellent opportunity to get the Conservatives at their own game over childcare.

It's a two paragraph bill that will extend the parental leave period from one year to two years. In the era of child care debate - this bill is perfect.

The Conservatives argue that parents taking care of their children is best. I agree. The problem is that if a mother or father wants to stay home past the one year allowance, they will loose their job.

Research says that children develop best when reared by their parents up until at least the age of two. This bill makes it possible for a mother to stay home for a year (or two) or for the two parents to split up the duties without having to re-enter the job market in the future.

Passing such a bill (which will use the EI fund to pay for it - big surplus currently) will not only encourage Canadians to have children, but it will benefit children, and simultaneously open-up childcare spaces for parents who do not want to take two years off work with their children.

Therefore, the government can bring in their $1,200 baby bonus later - say from ages 2 until 6 and improve the number of available day care spaces out - because a large portion of the child population under 2 years of age will still be at home with one of their parents.

I think this is an interesting idea that can definitely obtain all party support if messaged correctly. More research is obviously needed to determine the real impact - but this Bill should be passed and the committee should follow through and examine its usefulness.

PS - the bill could be substantially improved to include part-time and contract employees in the parental leave legislation.


Post a Comment

<< Home