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The National Child Care Working Group provides advice on how CUPE can advocate for universal, affordable, not-for-profit, regulated, high quality, unionized child care; and organize more child care workers, negotiate on their behalf and represent them better on a day to day basis. This includes working to build our capacity to take action and to integrate the work with other sectors in CUPE.

Contact the working group

Terms of Reference


1. The Working Group provides advice to the CUPE National Executive Board on how CUPE can:

  • advocate for universal, affordable, not-for-profit, regulated, high quality, unionized child care;
  • negotiate improved working conditions and wages for child care workers;
  • organize more child care workers;
  • represent child care workers better on a day-to-day basis.
  • improve provisions for work and family balance at CUPE members’ workplaces;
  • make recommendations to address provisions and support for child care at CUPE National conventions, conference and meetings.

2. The Working Group works to build capacity within CUPE, the labour movement and our communities to take action on child care issues.

3. The Working Group advises all components of the union, including other national committees, on how to best integrate child care issues into the on-going work and campaigns of CUPE.

4. The Working Group collects and synthesizes information about child care and shares its collective expertise on child care issues with all components of the union.

5. The Working Group gives voice to child care workers and it gives CUPE child care activists hope, motivation and visibility within CUPE.


The Working Group is composed of CUPE members appointed by the National President.

Members of the Working Group are child care workers and/or child care advocates who have a sound knowledge and interest in child care issues and who are highly motivated to carry out the role and responsibilities of the Working Group.

The Working Group includes one or more child care workers from every province where CUPE represents child care workers.

Appointments to the Working Group are made in such a way as to also ensure that the members of the Working Group reflect the diverse composition of our child care workforce. This includes ensuring representation from child care workers with experience and knowledge of a variety of different child care workplaces (for example, school age programs, center-based community child care, home care programs, municipal programs).

The National President may also add to the Working Group knowledgeable child care advocates from provinces or regions where CUPE does not have child care workers as members.

The National President will appoint a member of the National Executive Board to serve as NEB liaison to the Working Group.

One or more staff advisors will be appointed to assist the Working Group with its work.


Members of the Working Group are responsible for:

  • Reporting back on all working group meetings to CUPE divisions, child care locals, regional directors, regional or provincial social services/child care committees, and staff representatives servicing child care locals and/or committees.
  • Connecting and staying connected with provincial and regional child care advocacy groups where they exist.
  • Mentoring and recruiting young child care activists.
  • Connecting and staying in regular contact with Division Presidents, Division child care or related committees, where they exist, and Regional Directors.
  • Preparing for, and attending meetings of the Working Group.
  • Reporting to the Working Group on regional activities, events, and concerns.
  • Keeping the Working Group aware of developments related to child care that occur in regions and proposing responses to these developments.

The National Executive Board (NEB) Liaison to the Working Group is responsible for:

  • Keeping the Working Group informed of developments in the union and providing information from the NEB that will assist the Working Group in carrying out its work.
  • Reporting to the National Executive Board on the meetings and activities of the Working Group.
  • Conveying, and getting responses from the NEB on the Working Group’s advice and recommendations.

The Staff Advisors assigned to the Working Group are responsible for:

  • Facilitating communication among Working Group members between meetings of the Working Group.
  • Working on a day-to-day basis to move the committee’s recommendations and decisions forward throughout the union.
  • Assisting the Working Group, particularly the Chair of the Working Group, in developing the agenda for each meeting and ensuring that Working Group members have documentation in advance of the meeting.
  • Providing advice to the Working Group and sharing expertise on child care issues.
  • Reporting to the staff director(s) on Working Group meetings and the Working Group’s advice, recommendations and workplan.

How we operate

  • Meet two times per year;
  • Conference calls between meetings to keep work moving and deal with emerging issues;
  • Operate in two languages.

As adopted at the National Executive Board meeting, June 16-17, 2004

14/06/04:rks/opeiu 491

Revised 16/06/08:dw/cope 491