Thunder Bay—Thunder Bay child care workers are urging area councillors to support local children and families by demanding that the provincial government provide municipalities with more funding for quality, licensed child care.
“Thirty years of research shows that quality child care is a benefit for young children’s intellectual, social and physical development. Unfortunately, child care is at a crisis point. And unless the provincial government recommits sufficient dollars, the quality regulated system municipalities have supported for the past 20 years will be decimated.
“It’s time our council join with local child care workers in working together for children in our community and demand that the Ontario government do the same,” says Anita Broere, a Thunder Bay child care advisor who, along with area councillor Betty Kennedy, Sid Ryan the Ontario president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and Helen Gibb-Gavel of CUPE, will hold a media conference on Thursday, April 4 at 12 noon at the Valhalla Inn, Ballroom Foyer.
At the media conference, the child care activists will highlight the threats facing child care and why they will be asking Thunder Bay council to pass a resolution calling on the Tory government to increase funding for services.
CUPE and the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care have conducted a province-wide tour (that included Thunder Bay) to determine how child care services are being adversely impacted by government under-funding and downloading.
“What we learned is that regulated child care across the province is threatened.
Increasingly, municipalities are shouldering the majority of the costs of child care delivery because the provincial government has cut funding by about $90 million. Also, under provincial downloading, municipalities now have increased funding obligations but not enough money to provide adequate services to their communities.
“The reality is that the province has no commitment to quality, regulated child care and by downloading services and starving municipalities of funding, is forcing municipalities to get out of operating licensed child care centers,” says Ryan.
Recently, CUPE and the child care coalition launched “Working Together for Children”, a province-wide campaign to pressure the Ontario government to increase funding for regulated childcare. Any new deal for municipalities must include substantial investments from the provincial government to support local governments to manage and deliver early childhood development and care services in the community.
“We are urging council to join with us in “Working Together for Children”. In approving this resolution, council will be demonstrating a commitment to young children and their families,” says Gibb-Gavel, chair of the CUPE Ontario Social Service Workers Committee.
For more information please contact:
Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario
Helen Gibb-Gavel, Chair – CUPE Social Service Committee