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Child care workers, parents and children held a boisterous rally today outside the Vancouver hotel where federal, provincial and territorial ministers are meeting to reach a child care agreement.

Activists are calling on federal social development minister Ken Dryden to protect Canadas children by blocking slap shots from provinces who refuse to be accountable for public investments in child care.

The ministers came out to accept cards made by children from several child care centres. The cards called for a child care program founded on the building blocks of quality care. The rally was organized by child care workers from CUPE and the BCGEU. Visit www.cupe.ca/gallery to see more pictures of the rally.

The message today is clear: We want a child care program but it needs to be a good one. If all 13 jurisdictions dont want to participate, Dryden can proceed province-by-province with those jurisdictions that are prepared.

Child care advocates, including CUPE, know that 13 signatures will not make a national program if cross-Canada quality and accountability assurances are abandoned. Key to quality and accountability is to ensure all expansion of the system is in the non-profit sector. CUPE will continue to push for a real child care deal one that transforms the current patchwork of services into a high quality system.