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Communities in Ontario marked the second annual Child Care Worker Appreciation Day October 30.

In Ottawa, staff at St. Luke’s child care centre were honoured with certificates of recognition and heartfelt appreciation from parents who told personal stories of how centre staff have helped their children and their families. The parents also stressed the need for increased funding for regulated child care to alleviate growing waiting lists.

Working parents and local governments understand how valuable quality, accessible, regulated child care is. Throughout Ontario, municipalities are joining with parents, workers and community activists to tell the federal and provincial governments that increased funding for child care must be a priority.

“Each day, workers are dealing with the results of a child care system that is under threat and chronically under-funded. I know first hand that Ottawa child care workers are dealing with more children with special needs and the waiting list is increasing,” said Shellie Bird, a child care worker for the past 20 years and a member of CUPE 2204.