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More than 50 Ontario municipalities have agreed to proclaim October 24 Child Care Worker Appreciation Day, an event promoted by CUPE and the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC).

The municipalities passed the following motion:

Whereas thirty years of research confirms the benefits of high quality care for young children’s intellectual, emotional, social and physical development and later life outcomes; and

Whereas child care promotes the well-being of children and responds to the needs of parents, child care workers and the broader community by supporting quality of life so that citizens can fully participate in and contribute to the economic and social life of their community; and

Whereas recent studies clearly show trained and knowledgeable child care workers are the most important element in quality child care, and further that good wages and working conditions are associated with higher job satisfaction and morale, lower staff turnover all of which predict higher quality care;

Therefore Be It Resolved that October 24 be designated “Child Care Worker Appreciation Day” in recognition of the Influence, Dedication and Commitment of child care workers to children, their families and quality of life of the community.”

Posters to celebrate the event are going up in municipalities across the province.

The appreciation day is part of the OCBCC/CUPE Stepping Up for Child Care campaign, organized to promote municipal child care centres and protect regulated, non-profit child care.

The provincial government sees child care as a private sector activity,” says Shellie Bird, of CUPE 2204. “It has cut funding for municipalities, putting pressure on them to close public child care centres. It is pressuring cities to create a “level playing field” for private, unregulated day care operators.”

Provincial downloading is contributing to the crisis as cities look for ways to cut costs. “Even though the issues have moved over to local governments, the province is still holding all of the strings,” says Mary-Anne Bedard of the OCBCC.