Ford’s proposed regulation changes come just before Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day on October 22, which acknowledges and thanks the hard work and dedication of workers in the sector. Ford’s proposed changes to the Child Care and Early Years Act lowers caregiver to child ratios, erodes important staffing requirements, and prioritizes unlicensed child care spaces by promoting them to the public.

“The Ford government continues to ignore the child care crisis in Ontario,” says Candace Rennick, Secretary-Treasurer of CUPE Ontario. “Instead of building a quality child care system, the Ford government wants to force fewer staff to do more work with less funding and is exploring ways to promote unlicensed child care to Ontarians.”

The proposed policy changes by the Ford government will compromise the well-being of children and continue to destabilize the sector, CUPE Ontario reports.

“If we’ve learned anything from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that child care is foundational to our economy and is a vital service to ensure women’s participation in the work force,” says Carolyn Ferns, Policy Coordinator at the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care. “The Ford government keeps recycling old policy ideas that have proven, time and time again, to be completely ineffective.”

None of the child care policy proposals brought forward by the Ontario government address long-standing issues facing parents, caregivers, and workers in the sector, CUPE Ontario reports.  

“Parents, caregivers, workers, and advocates have been clear: there aren’t enough child care spaces, fees are too high, and more funding needs to be injected into the sector to stabilize child care in Ontario,” adds Rennick. “CUPE Ontario will be making a submission to the Ministry of Education to highlight our opposition to these ill-considered policy recommendations and our demands for a universal, accessible, and affordable child care system.”