We are Ontario’s central advocacy group for a universal, affordable, high quality, public and non-profit system of early childhood education and care. Formed in 1981, the OCBCC is a member organization comprising child care centres, national and provincial groups and individuals from all across Ontario. Our members are ECEs, child care workers, parents, grandparents, centre directors and trade unionists - most importantly we are people who care about child care, like you!

Become a member today and help us continue our important work. Learn about our new Benefits package HERE

Thank you for your support and solidarity!

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Our child care advocacy community has lost another long-time advocate. Jessie Thomson was a pioneer of the Child Care movement. She first started working in child care at the Dale Community Centre in Hamilton Ontario around 1942. Not for profit child care centres were set up under the Dominion Provincial Wartime Agreement during WW2 to enable women to work and contribute to the war effort. These centres provided programs and routines based on the latest research in child development. They were the forerunners of what we now call Early Childhood Education. The centres were shut down as quickly as they had been set up, in 1946, one year after the war ended. Despite the governments efforts to send women back into the home, many continued working to provide for their families. Their protests managed to keep a couple of these centres open, Jesse Ketchum, in downtown Toronto and Victoria Day Care. Jessie continued her professional development at the Institute of Child Study in Toronto. She had to take the bus in to Toronto on a regular basis, no small endeavour for a woman with six children. Jessie worked for many years as supervisor of Peter Pan Co-op Nursery and West End Parents, and then spent 14 years as co-ordinator of McMaster Student Union.  She took many workshops and courses, trying to provide the best programs possible for the children she worked with. When she retired at age 65 Jessie was quoted in the 1987 McMaster Silhouette and the Hamilton Spectator, “When I began daycare programs, they rotated around sleeping, eating and the bathroom. I believe you should bring programs of value to the daycare”.  She also had a message which is still relevant today as families still face an abysmal lack of affordable childcare: “The government is willing to spend money on its’ military budget, not on daycare for children.”  Her commitment to quality childcare influenced her daughter, Virginia and her granddaughter, Jessica, to work in the field of ECE and continue her legacy of advocacy for affordable, accessible quality childcare programs. She will be missed.

 

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