Hamilton in line for 1,000 new child care spaces, federal government says

Canada's social development minister says his government is on track to roll out 40,000 affordable child care spaces over 11 years — a plan that includes at least 1,000 new spots in Hamilton.

Children and social development minister had a quick photo op in Hamilton Wednesday

Kids from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hamilton attended the Jean-Yves Duclos announcement, including one who patted Duclos's head. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

Canada's social development minister says his government is on track to roll out 40,000 affordable child care spaces by 2020 — a plan that includes at least 1,000 new spaces in Hamilton.

Jean-Yves Duclos stopped at Tim Hortons Field for a quick photo op Wednesday. He used the 20,000-seat stadium, home to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, to illustrate the number of child care spaces he says his government is offering.

He told the gathering to imagine each seat had two kids in it. "Forty thousand is the number of children who will soon have child care spaces."

The stop was a re-announcement of a 2017 pledge to create thousands of new child-care spaces across Canada, although this is the first time a specific number has been mentioned for the city.

In June 2017, Ottawa signed agreements with provinces and territories to seed new spaces. The cost is $1.2 billion over three years.

The kids sat by as politicians talked about child care funding. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

Ottawa says those spaces are particularly aimed at families who are low-income, Indigenous, single-parent, living in underserved communities or have children with disabilities. 

Child care advocates said then that spaces were needed across the board, not just in those communities. 

The Conservative critic for children's issues was worried about how the plan would be rolled out, and the NDP said it wasn't enough to meet a growing crisis.

Bob Bratina, Hamilton East-Stoney Creek MP, said the agreement means more than 1,000 spaces in Hamilton, although the actual number will vary according to the proposals Ottawa receives. 

The photo op included Jean-Yves Duclos and kids from the Boys and Girls Club. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)
Duclos and Bob Bratina, Hamilton East-Stoney Creek MP. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

About the Author

Samantha Craggs

Reporter

Samantha Craggs is a CBC News reporter based in Hamilton, Ont. She has a particular interest in politics and social justice stories, and tweets live from Hamilton city hall. Follow her on Twitter at @SamCraggsCBC, or email her at samantha.craggs@cbc.ca