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How does raising $ 10 a day affect immigrants in Canada?

How does raising $ 10 a day affect immigrants in Canada?

Newcomers are poised to benefit considerably from Canada's new daycare programme. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in April 2021 that within five years, childcare should cost an average of $10 per day across the country.

The federal government has pledged to invest $30 billion over the next five years and a minimum of $9.2 billion annually after that in order to achieve this goal. According to the Prime Minister's office, the new system could lower daycare costs by 50% on average outside of Quebec by the end of 2022.

The federal government has begun discussions with provinces and territories about establishing this new early learning and childcare programme since the announcement.

So far, it has reached agreements with seven provinces and one territory. Part of the agreements entails determining how much money the federal government will provide each jurisdiction to make child care more affordable, and accessible, and to support child care providers themselves through the likes of skills training and wage increases.

The rationale behind this initiative is to spur economic growth and social prosperity across the country.

"By building an early learning and child care system, we will make life more affordable for Canadian families, create new jobs, grow the middle class, increase women's participation in the workforce, and drive strong economic growth across the country," the Prime Minister's office said when the announcement was made.

What impact would $10-per-day child care have on immigrants?

This proposal is going to be a significant success for parents across Canada, particularly those in difficult situations. Immigrants are among the people who are most likely to benefit.

Immigrants are more likely to arrive in Canada while they are younger than the average Canadian. As a result, they are more likely to have younger families, making cheap child care essential.

In contrast to the ordinary Canadian, immigrants may not have existing family and friends available to care for their kids, and may not yet have high enough income to be able to afford daycare. It is usually immigrant women that bear the brunt of this.

A dearth of affordable daycare choices is one of the reasons foreign women may struggle to integrate economically and socially in Canada. According to the federal government's Budget 2021, the average monthly toddler fees in Toronto, which is the primary destination for new immigrants to Canada, are $1,600. For a typical family with two children, this amounts to more than $3,000 each month.

Newcomer women may be obliged to stay at home to care for their children if there are no economic options. This makes it difficult for them to focus on their Canadian employment and form the social networks that are necessary for them to feel at ease immigrating to Canada.

It comes as no surprise that newcomer women have reported in research feeling isolated in their early years of landing in Canada in large part due to their childcare responsibilities.

As a result, it's very likely that the $10-per-day child care programme will allow more immigrant women to pursue their careers. This would increase immigrant families' purchasing power by allowing them to expect higher income while seeing their daycare costs reduce.

The initiative should also help immigrant women integrate socially (because the job is equally important for forming social networks), and it will be a windfall to a Canadian labour market that will see all of its 9 million baby boomers retire over the next decade.

Another expected big benefit is that newcomer children will have better educational and social results since they will have access to more learning options and opportunities to meet new friends.

Budget 2021 included a few case studies and examples to support the new policy. Women's labour force participation in Quebec was four percentage points lower than the rest of Canada in 1997, but it is now four percentage points higher than the national average after the province implemented its own affordable child care system.

Furthermore, the Budget highlighted a TD Economics study that concluded that every $1 invested in early childhood education returns between $1.50 and $2.80 to the broader economy.

These findings should give newcomers and parents across Canada the cause to be optimistic.

Though the economic situation for immigrants in Canada has improved in general, St├ęphane Reichhold, the chairman of the umbrella organization that brings together immigration resources in Quebec, says there is still work to be done (TCRI).

He explained that this is frequently due to the acknowledgement of education or professional experience obtained in countries other than Canada.

"People are frequently restarting," Reichhold stated. "They've already worked in their home nation and are starting from the bottom."

According to Reichhold, the majority of Economic Class immigrants are underemployed, which means their occupations do not match their level of experience or education when compared to the Canadian-born population.  He has worked at the umbrella organization since 1990 and has seen some improvement in the economic situation for immigrants.

But, he said, there is a much higher rate of unemployment, use of social services and poverty for people from countries in North Africa than those from Europe or North America, for example.

"The cultural-linguistic factors are part of it. Discrimination and racism factors are there."

For an immigrant looking for higher-paying work in Quebec, speaking both English and French is often necessary, Reichhold added. But most immigrants who come to Quebec are not fluent in both official languages, he said.

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