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Toronto: While today’s federal budget announcement that $935 million has been allocated to quality child care, it’s still far short of a universal regulated child care programme that would benefit generations of children and families in the future, says Sid Ryan, Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

However, adds Ryan, the track record of the Ontario Tories in spending federal dollars on regulated child care “has been dismal. We urge the federal government to ensure that there are strings attached to new money for regulated child care. This will force the Tories to put the money into badly needed, affordable, regulated childcare in Ontario.”

Since 1995, the Tories have consistently shortchanged working families by under-funding regulated child care. Child care advocates estimate that twenty thousand spaces are needed province-wide to meet the demands for regulated child care.

“Giving the Eve’s government money with no strings attached will guarantee that the Tories will take the money and run and put it into other programmes, not regulated child care. This is what they’ve done in the past,” says Ryan.

Over the past few years, federal funding for child care initiatives has been diverted by the Tories into other early childhood programmes and not regulated child care. Child care advocates estimate that the Tories are spending $100 million less on regulated child care than in 1996, and of the $167 million in federal money for child development initiatives, not a penny has gone into regulated child care.

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For further information:
Sid Ryan, President, CUPE Ontario - 416-209-0066
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications - 416-578-8774