OCBCC Queen’s Park Lobby to Meet with Liberals, NDP and Conservative Parties

May 27, 2008

The OCBCC will be meeting with party caucuses from the Liberal and NDP parties to hear about their vision for early learning and child care.

With more than sixty child care advocates from the around the province, we hope all three parties will make the time to meet with us to tell us their vision for early learning and child care programs in Ontario.

Each party will be asked to explain their vision for early learning and child care and answer the following questions:

1. Investing in Quality – Investing in Public/non-profit:
Study after study has concluded that on average child care delivered in the not-for-profit sector is of much higher quality.  We know that small group size, low child-to-adult ratios, continuity in relationships and a well trained and compensated staff produce quality results for children.   We know that when profit is the motive quality indicators suffer.We need more child care in Ontario and it needs to be delivered in the non-profit sector.Is your government/party prepared to provide adequate capital and operational funding to build new public and non-profit early learning and child care centres?

2. Building a System of Early Learning and Child Care:
Providers are struggling under the strain of chronic under- funding.  Long waiting lists leave parents scrambling to find available care for their children.  People need child care so they can work, study and parent effectively. Even when parents find child care it’s often expensive. What steps will your government take to address the need for universal access to affordable, quality child care for all children 0-12?
3. Workforce-Improving Quality by Improving Wages:
Statistics Canada’s latest report confirms that child care employees in Ontario are among the lowest paid in Canada (average wage between $12 to $14). A significant number of Early Childhood Educator graduates do not join the child care sector because of poor wages. The sector is in need of trained staff to fill vacancies, yet because of low wages many ECEs turn to other occupations.  What does your government/party plan to do increase wages and compensation in the sector?

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