New Brunswick’s Official Opposition is calling on the Higgs Government to enhance the programs aimed at improving the access and affordability of childcare in order to ensure a more equitable reduction of childcare costs in the province.
“The high cost of childcare can be a significant financial burden on families and can be a barrier for parents looking to get back into the workforce,” says Roger Melanson, Leader of the Official Opposition. “I’m glad the Higgs Government finally agreed to address this, but it has not gone far enough. More needs to be done to ensure every family has access to affordable childcare.”
As it currently stands, the program provides relief for families with children under five years of age. This means families currently using after school childcare services will not see a reduction in costs.
“The cost of childcare for school aged children still represents a financial burden for many families. Everyone is being hit by the rapidly rising cost of living, the Higgs Government should look at ways to include relief for these families as well” says Mr. Melanson. “Access and affordability go hand in hand, but the current plan does not go far enough to stimulate recruitment and retention. The childcare sector cannot afford to lose more workers!”
The interim Liberal leader says this is another example of an issue that could have been addressed with the government’s recent surpluses.
“With almost a billion in back-to-back surpluses, the Higgs Government could have made a much larger investment into making childcare more affordable for everyone instead of, again, expecting the federal government to do all the heavy lifting” says Roger Melanson. “They have the ability and the opportunity to do more than previously planned, let’s not waste it.”