Q: What is the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care?
A: The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC), founded in 1981, advocates for universally accessible, high quality, not-for-profit, regulated child care in the province of Ontario.
We are a non-partisan public awareness and advocacy group with broad membership including the education, labour, student and women’s and francophone communities. The OCBCC works in advocacy at all levels of government (federal, provincial, and municipal). We work with national partners to ensure the Federal government is involved in funding Early Learning and Care programs. At a provincial level, we work with the government and opposition parties, lobbying for policy and funding.
Q: How does the OCBCC support ECE’s?
A: The OCBCC advocates for better wages and working conditions for ECE’s and all child care workers and a National or Provincial Child Care System funded by the government which would benefit all those who work in child care including ECE’s. To learn about our current campaigns click here or visit the home page. To learn more about our publications and child care management resources, please click here.
We also support ECE’s with various kits & materials to assist in participating in Municipal, Provincial, and Federal elections.
The OCBCC co-sponsors Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day annually every October. This is a day on which child care employers, boards, parents, and community members and politicians can show those who work in child care how much they are appreciated and valued. We also ask all of the municipalities in Ontario to pass a resolution declaring the day “Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day” throughout their municipality.
Q: Who funds child care?
A: Child care depends on parent fees. Without subsidy, parents pay 100% of the cost of child care. Child care can easily cost $60 a day - over $10,000 a year. Many families need help paying for child care so they apply for a child care subsidy – but there are waiting lists for a subsidy as well. As fees go up and fewer parents can pay the full fees, the subsidy system becomes overtaxed. Child care cannot continue to depend on full fee paying parents and limited subsidies.
Q: What are the problems with jobs in child care?
A: Low wages and not enough opportunity for advancement. There are some good paying jobs in child care, but many early childhood educators are underpaid and undervalued – with the average wage standing at about $16 an hour. That is not enough to live on. Early Childhood Educators are specialists in early learning and child development, with at least two years of training specific to early childhood education and care.
We need to make sure we can pay our qualified early childhood educators a decent wage so they can work in the field they were trained for and love, and still be able to provide a decent income for their families.
Q: What are some impacts of the lack of child care funding?
A: The ripple effect of insufficient funding could lead to a catastrophic collapse for our child care system and impact families, child care centres, staff and communities.
Impact on Families
- Thousands of low and middle income families will lose access to safe, quality care for their children.
- Parents may have to leave their jobs or postpone going back to school.
- Without increased funding, fees will undoubtedly go up. Parents cannot afford fees that could rise to $100/day.
- We already don’t have enough child care spaces in Ontario. Only 13.6% of children under the age of 13 have access to a licensed space. Only 19.6% of all children under 6 have access to a full- or part-time licensed child care space.
For perspective: Toronto has 20,000 children on its waiting list for subsidized child care. The situation is similar in other regions in Ontario. There is only enough child care spaces for 4 out of 5 children.