Ontario’s best and only chance of building a high-quality and affordable system of early childhood education and care for all is to create one that is publicly funded, planned and managed, says CUPE in its just-released submission to the Ontario Ministry of Education’s consultation regarding the creation of 100,000 new child care spaces.

This consultation is occurring in the midst of national discussions between the federal, provincial and territorial governments on a framework agreement on Early Learning and Child Care. This is an opportunity across the country to ensure all families can access and afford high quality child care.

In its submission, CUPE takes to task the province’s current market-based approach to child care and demonstrates why any child care system should consist only of public and non-profit licensed child care centres. It recommends a switch to base funding for child care centres and a sliding scale of parent fees with a reasonable cap in order to create an affordable, accessible and sustainable system.

The submission also demonstrates why any child care and early years system must take into account the following caveats:

  • Services must be made available to all children regardless of income, family type, where they live, ability or disability, ethnicity or race.
  • Expansion of spaces does not occur in the for-profit child care sector, where public resources are directed toward corporate profits with resulting negative impacts on quality care.
  • A workforce strategy be a core component of a renewed framework for early years and child care to address the low wages, and poor working conditions that make it difficult to recruit and retain child care workers.

Read CUPE’s submission to Ontario Ministry of Education’s Consultation on Child Care and Early Years Strategy here.