New grassroots campaign for affordable, high quality, publicly funded child care in Ontario!
Over the past year, the OCBCC was successful in high-level lobbing and a coordinated campaign with large child care providers to secure stabilization funding. Parent and community pressure enabled us to secure stabilization funding for the sector. But three years of one-time funding will only keep our costly and fragmented child care system from complete failure – it will not result in universal, affordable child care.
Over the next two years, our political reality may change in Ontario. But what will not change is the fundamental need for more affordable child care for Ontario families.
We need a long-term campaign will in turn put pressure on all political parties to support an investment in high quality, affordable, public and not-for-profit system in Ontario for all children from infants to 12 years.
With a minority government and a Liberal leadership race, Ontario could face an election time. Critical moments are:
March / April 2013, potential election if a vote or the budget fails or if the new premier calls an election.
Sept /Oct 2013, potential election
Spring 2014, potential election
October 27, 2014: Municipal and School Board elections
Our organizing plan must be flexible enough to see the OCBCC through a provincial election as well as prepare us for the 2014 Municipal and School Board election.
Municipal Councillors and School Boards Trustees play increasingly important roles in delivering child care services and full-day kindergarten programs. Our campaign will educate and seek support from these elected politicians - showing how education and care can work together to better serve children and families. In the year leading up to elections, we aim to communicate with candidates, produce materials and work with our allies to ensure child care is an issue in municipal and school board elections.
Our challenge over the next two years is to rebuild child care advocacy by building capacity among individuals and organizations province-wide. To rebuild a provincial movement for affordable child care, we need to extend our reach. This will be achieved by:
- surveying parents on existing child care options, unmet needs, and building a network of interested parents;
- working with other groups for whom child care is not the central work, but is important and/or who have a constituency for whom it is an important issue (social agencies, social planning councils, women’s shelters, the business community, antipoverty organizations, and other community groups);
- engaging the large provincial groups - including unions – with whom we have an existing relationship by providing tools to directly involve their membership, coordinated campaign materials for websites and newsletters, and ensuring access to skills training and organizing training for members and staff.
- providing skills training for child care centres, staff and other keen individuals to help them become better advocates: both one time and on-going training activities to focus on building support for child care from within communities; helping individuals to develop organizing skills; and how to build networks for child care outreach.
This is not a consultation – our aim is engagement and involvement, and to build a broad base of support. This would also be a positive campaign; one that focuses on the difference this type of change would make. To build support province-wide requires on-the-ground change-makers within communities who feel connected to a broader campaign.
Early learning and child care is good for children
- poverty reduction
- improved health outcomes
- sets the foundation for lifelong learning;
- improves school performance;
Early learning and child care is good for families
- it allows women to fully participate in the workforce and public life;
- increased employment retention, earnings, lifelong learning potential;
- and decreased poverty and reliance on social assistance, etc.
Early learning and child care is good for our economy
- investments in child care pay for themselves
- child care saves money in short and long-term societal costs
- aside from children, employers benefit as stable, high quality child care programs allow parents to work.
Want to be involved? Have suggestions? Send us an email!