“Wherever I go across the country I hear the same refrain from working parents – we have a crisis finding quality, accessible child care,” said the national president of Canada’s largest union, Paul Moist. “The responsibility for the frustration working parents are experiencing with the lack of high quality child care rests with Harper’s conservatives,” he added.
CUPE is Canada’s largest union representing 570,000 workers; of those CUPE represents almost 5,000 child care workers across the country.
The New Democratic Party announced its child care platform today promising to address the concerns that have been raised by parents from across the country. The NDP pledge of $1.45 billion is in dramatic contrast to the complete inaction by the Harper Conservatives,” said Moist. This is a vast improvement compared to the Conservative’s Universal Child Care Benefit. A taxable monthly cheque for $100 could not provide child care for more than a week.
The NDP is also the first party to call for 150,000 child care spaces with the longer term goal of a space for every child needing one. The lack of new child care spaces is a major shortcoming of the Conservative plan. Stephen Harper’s Conservative government has turned its back on women and working families. Canada remains at the bottom of the heap of all OECD countries when it comes to investing in early learning and child care. A high-quality, non-profit child care system gives children an excellent start in life, and helps parents work or get further education and training. The NDP has also made it clear that their child care plan would be delivered by the not-for-profit or public sector.
“Understandably, working parents are encouraged with this announcement, as having accessible, high quality child care is often the determining factor of whether you can go to work or not,” concluded Moist.
Paul Moist, CUPE National President – 613-558-2873
Allison Gifford, CUPE Communications – 613-484-2571