CHP policy, overall, reflects the conviction that the married two-parent family is the most important foundation of society. Public policy should reflect a recognition and protection of the important function of a family in training up the next generation of stable and responsible citizens.
The CHP Family Care Allowance touches on child care, but in a way totally different from all of the other parties. It would provide $1000 per month to any family where one parent remains at home (does not work for wages outside the home) to care for their children—until age 18—unlike the current policy of $100 per month for children under 6. It would also be available to families where one of the adult spouses remains at home to be the primary caregiver for their aged parent or disabled family member.
The Conservatives added a $2000 per child tax credit (taxable)—annually—which will provide about $310 per child in tax relief. Hardly what a family needs to help a parent stay home to raise their children. For real pro-family legislation, you need the CHP’s $12,000 annual childcare allowance. You’d have to have ten children under six year of age to receive benefits equivalent to the CHP’s under the Tory plan!
The average take-home pay of a woman who works at a second job is under $1000 per month. We want to help her stay home and care for her children if that is what she wants, and surveys continually tell us that this is what she wants.
Additionally, it will open about 1.5 million existing job spaces — mostly entry-level jobs, which would especially help to relieve youth unemployment — and would reduce overall unemployment to between 3 and 5 per cent.
Is childcare the problem?
The childcare ‘problem’ is frequently stated as “a need for day-care spaces.” That is, indeed, something many families want; but it is not the major problem.
Canada desperately needs government policies that strengthen families. Daycare fills a short-term need; but it weakens families. Much social science research now confirms that institutional daycare—even the best of it—actually hurts children and families. And surveys show that three out of four mothers who work outside the home—the very ones who use daycare—would rather be at home with their children if they could afford it.
The CHP has a plan to fulfill that desire.
The CHP’s Better Solution:
The CHP’s Family Care Allowance will give families $1,000 a month if either parent chooses to stay home and raise their own children—and continue helping the family until they graduate from high school.
The net benefit to the family of the average second income is less than $1,000 a month, after you deduct the extra taxes, travel costs, meals away from home, clothing costs, etc.; the CHP’s Family Care Allowance will replace that, enabling parents to make the choice most of them want.
And because it will reduce unemployment, the Family Care Allowance won’t actually cost taxpayers anything! It just re-directs money we’re already spending on EI and welfare, using the same money to strengthen families, instead of weakening them the way institutional daycare does.
It would also be available to families where one of the adult spouses remains at home to be the primary caregiver for their aged parent or disabled family member.