A Year in Review - 2017
February 1, 2017
The OCBCC submitted our pre-budget brief 2017: Building a quality child care system all families can afford and trust. There is long-standing evidence for funding a child care system because of its benefits to child development and well-being, poverty reduction, work-family balance, social solidarity and gender equality. You can read the submission here OCBCC's pre-budget Brief. Check our website in the new year for our 2018 submission.
Feb 3, 2017
To truly achieve an early years and child care system that works for Ontario families, we need action to make child care affordable for all families and to make programs sustainable – not struggling to keep their doors open and pay their educators. We need to truly transform child care in Ontario from a market patchwork to a comprehensive system. Read the OCBCC's Submission in response to Ontario's child care consultations and their discussion paper “Building a better future: A discussion paper on transforming early years and child care in Ontario”.
Feb 21, 2017
Through Ontario's child care consultations, we have seen a newfound unity about three critical priorities to build a better early years and child care system: an affordable fee scale; decent work for educators; and limiting for-profit child care. Read more about our 3 big ideas campaign http://www.childcareontario.org/build_a_better_future
April 25, 2017
The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care and our partners were at Queen's Park to push for action on child care in Thursday's provincial budget. We called for funds in the budget for affordability for families and decent wages for early childhood educators - consistent with the 3 Big Ideas that we've been campaigning for.
We saw the government make a pre-budget announcement that promised:
- 24,000 more children up to four years old will have access to child care in 2017-18. This is part of the province's plan to help 100,000 kids access child care over five years, as announced in the 2016 Ontario Speech from the Throne.
- Parents will receive more financial support to increase affordability, including subsidies for approximately 60 per cent of new child care spaces.
- The province will also work with families and experts in the coming months to develop a child care affordability strategy that will identify further measures that could lower costs and support parents.
August 17, 2017
The OCBCC made a submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs regarding Bill 148: Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017. Labour law reform is pertinent to the child care sector at this time for several reasons. First, the early childhood educators and child care staff who work with children 0 - 12 years across the province in a range of programs are underpaid and undervalued. Staff turnover is high, and retention of staff is a major challenge for child care employers. Despite diplomas and degrees, nearly a quarter of Registered Early Childhood Educators make less than $15 an hour. Implementation of Bill 148 would be an important first step toward a workforce strategy that ensures educators across the province have decent work and professional pay. Second, but by no means less important, is Ontario’s Renewed Early years and Child Care Policy Framework. Released in June 2017, this framework includes a commitment to transform the patchwork of early years and child care programs into an system providing 100,000 more children aged 0 - 4 with access to high quality licensed child care over the next five years.
October 25, 2017
This year’s theme “WE CREATE A BRIGHTER FUTURE” reminds us all of the important role early childhood educators and child care workers play in building strong and supported children, families and communities. On this day we recognize the hard work, meaningful care and continuous learning these educators provide children every day.
OCBCC and partner organizations welcomed MPPs from all parties for breakfast at Queen’s Park on Oct. 25, 2017 to celebrate Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day. Members from around the province including Peterborough, Ottawa, Windsor and Thunder Bay joined with colleagues from the AECEO, Atkinson Charitable Foundation, Childcare Resource and Research Unit, Canadian Union of Public Employees Ontario, Equal Pay Coalition and Ontario Campaign 2000: End Child Poverty. An update on the 3 big ideas for modernizing child care was presented. The OCBCC advocated to launch the Decent Work Charter and call for a down payment on the public funding needed to ensure professional pay for early childhood educators and provide affordable, high quality child care services for parents.
In June, Carolyn Ferns, our Public Policy and Government Relations Coordinator, began her maternity leave and Laurel Rothman stepped in for the interim. Laurel brings vast knowledge of the early years and public policy as well as years of diverse experience to the position. She has devoted much time to advocacy for young children and those working with them. We thank Laurel for her tireless advocacy and wish Carolyn and her family all the best this year. As well, in October we bid farewell to Viktoria Belle as she decided to move her career in another direction. Her efforts as advocate and administrator will certainly be missed but we wish her well in her new endeavors. In November, Kim Mantulak began her work as our new Membership and Administration Coordinator. Kim is an experienced office administrator and Registered Early Childhood Educator with several years of diverse experience in the sector. Kim is passionate about quality, affordable care for children and decent work for educators.
The OCBCC partnered with the AECEO and the Atkinson Centre on the Professional Pay and Decent Work Project. Key elements of the project were Leadership Training and Community Organizing, Professional Pay & Decent Work Campaign, and the Task Force: Developing policy recommendations and a Decent Work Charter. The partners have been inspired by the early accomplishments of this project.