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Details on new federal daycare spending coming in budget, minister says

Ahmed Hussen, Canada's Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, is seen during a news conference at a construction site that will soon house residential housing in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020. Canada's minister in charge of federal efforts to expand child care says funding to create 250,000 before- and after-school spaces will be on top of $7.5 billion in planned spending. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

OTTAWA — Canada’s minister in charge of federal efforts to expand child care says funding to create 250,000 before- and after-school spaces will be on top of $7.5 billion in already planned spending.

Ahmed Hussen says the upcoming federal budget will outline how the funding will roll out, but adds he wants the spaces to come available as soon as possible. 

The Liberals promised in last fall’s election campaign to create a quarter of a million spaces for children under age 10 outside school hours, at a cost of $535 million annually.

The money was promised for the fiscal year that starts in April, but it can’t flow directly to provinces until they sign renewed funding agreements with Ottawa.

Hussen says in an interview that the increase in federal spending will come with expectations that provinces and territories step up as well.

What the money buys and which parents are supported will be tailored to the needs of provinces and territories, Hussen says.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 29, 2020.

The Canadian Press