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ST. JOHN’S - A new, province-wide poll on child care in Newfoundland and Labrador shows that families with young kids strongly support the idea of a public system.

CUPE NL President Wayne Lucas says, “At every income level, NL parents soundly support (89 per cent) having the provincial government set up child care programs as part of the public school system.
Our province needs to recruit and retain workers if we want to continue to be a ‘have’ province. We can’t do that without fixing this problem.

CUPE now has the most extensive data on how much parents pay for child care, by size of family and household income, and where most of that care is coming from – and the statistics paint a troubling picture.  Among the poll’s more dramatic findings:

  • 86 per cent of respondents are using relatives to provide care, while 65 per cent are using a babysitter.  In sharp contrast to this, only 30 per cent of families are using a child care centre.
  • One third of parents and guardians (33 per cent) who have young children say they recently had problems finding someone to look after children who live with them.
  • Two thirds (65 per cent) of parents who use child care facilities pay $500 or more a month – 22 per cent pay $1,000 and up.
  • Parents using home-based child care arrangements are paying more for child care – $786 a month on average versus $707 for parents using child care centres. This may be due partly to subsidies provided at centres.
  • More than half of the part-time workers surveyed (54 per cent) said the lack of child care was a barrier to finding full-time work. 

Says Lucas, “Parents are running from grand-parent to friend to school program and back again.  This is exactly why we need public policy and a public system. Our children deserve better than this.

Our message to all of the candidates in the upcoming provincial election is that the public strongly supports the idea of a public child care system. It’s time we started moving on it.”

The findings are based on telephone interviews conducted by the Vector Poll from August 22 - August 29, 2011, with 304 adults (aged 18 and over) throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. The margin of error is 5.6 per cent, 19 times out of 20 (or 95 per cent).

For more information:  


Wayne Lucas
CUPE NL President
(709) 727-2509

Michelle Cohen
CUPE Equality Representative
(902) 455-4180

John McCracken
CUPE Communications Representative
(902) 455-4180