CUPE represents early childhood educators, assistants, cooks, and cleaners in the sector in both stand-alone and multi-sector locals. The bargaining units tend to be small and the wages low. The employers can be not-for-profit volunteer-run boards, charitable, parent-run boards, or for-profit.

  • Number of members working in child care or ECE: 12,000
  • Number of bargaining units: 83

CUPE represents over 2,600 members in dedicated child care centres. CUPE also represents many early childhood educators (ECEs) delivering child care programs in other sectors such as education and municipal services. We represent 2,020 school-aged child care members in Quebec who are employed by school boards. In Ontario, we represent almost 4,500 full-time equivalent ECE members who deliver the full-day kindergarten program. In British Columbia, we represent 350 members who deliver the Strong Start early learning drop-in program helping prepare children for kindergarten. Many Ontario municipalities deliver child care programs directly; CUPE represents about 5,000 members employed in their child care centres. We also represent child care workers at universities and colleges that directly provide child care services. Finally, many multi-service agencies deliver child care programs where CUPE represents the members.

In total, CUPE estimates that we represent 12,000 members who work in the sector or work delivering ECE programs. We represent members in the child care sector for every province except Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, which are primarily not unionized.