What is it?: A national system of early childhood education and child-care programs negotiated with the provinces, enshrined in law and given predictable, long-term funding.
Principles: Affordability, availability and quality.
Number of spaces: Program will create or support one million spaces after an eight-year phase-in.
Cost to government: Annual federal commitment rises to $5 billion a year after eight years.
Cost to parents: No more than $15 a day for each child.
Cost to parents today: Average monthly payment of $1,152 in Ontario, $825 in Nova Scotia and $1,047 in British Columbia.
Access today: The NDP says only 22.5 per cent of children five and under have access to regulated child care, although 73.5 per cent of their mothers are in the work force.