“We’re giving the Ford government an F for their botched child-care re-opening,” says Carrie Lynn Poole-Cotnam. “Child care centres are faced with enormous challenges during COVID-19. Ford’s abrupt re-opening announcement, coupled with no new funding to support enhanced health and safety protocols, is forcing centres to choose between permanently closing or hiking parent fees.”
Students across the province are receiving their report cards today and parents, who would normally rely on child care spaces during summer months, are now left to choose between work and staying home to provide care to their children, says CUPE Ontario.
“Securing quality child care was a challenge before the pandemic, now, it’s going to be a free-for-all to secure spots in child care centres,” says Carolyn Ferns, Policy Coordinator at the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC). “Ford is failing families, and if he doesn’t act now to inject crucial funding into the sector, we may see dozens of child care spaces shut-down permanently.”
Parents across the province are already reporting wide-spread concern regarding mounting wait-lists for child care, particularly in downtown cores.
“Ford is delegating his responsibility to Ontarians seeking child care to the federal government,” continued Poole-Cotnam. “Ford is playing a dangerous game of chicken—and the longer he waits for a bail-out from Trudeau, the closer we get to seeing a child care crisis in the province.”
CUPE Ontario and OCBCC continue to call on the Ford government for new funding to support a safe child care re-opening and a strengthened child care system at the core of economic and social recovery. Read more about CUPE’s report card on Ford’s child care re-opening at tinyurl.com/FordFailsFamilies.