We have developed a long-term plan for early learning and child care, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our plan includes short-term actions to stabilize the sector, and protect educators and families. But our community, and our governments, must also be looking ahead to recovery post-pandemic. We need our governments to commit to and fund a long-term strategy that puts child care at the core of social and economic recovery. We need all levels of government to act. Send your elected officials an email to ask for their support.
Goals: Protect educators, families and programs. Put early learning and child care at the core of recovery.
Action 1: Provide emergency funding that ensures professional wages.
- Additional emergency funding should be flowed to ensure that all early childhood educators and child care workers are earning a professional wage. Many educators are working on the front-lines in emergency child care. Others continue to work from home, providing vital supports by connecting with children and families to ensure continuity of care.
Action 2: Consult the early learning and child care sector on a safe, responsible and transparent re-opening plan
- Child care operators, early childhood educators and child care workers must be part of any plan to re-open child care. Re-opening must be slow, staged and safe. The sector will need adequate time to prepare and make all necessary changes to ensure health and safety and quality care and education.
Action 3: Provide substantial new funding for health and safety, staff training and supports, paid sick days, etc.
- There needs to be ample public funding to support any changes to physical infrastructure, personal protective equipment (PPE), staff training, paid sick days.
Action 4: Plan and expand the early learning and child care – child care for all!
- Long-term, as we move from the immediate crisis to a period of recovery, we must plan and expand our child care system to provide enough high quality early learning and child care for every family. Child care must be at the core of economic and social recovery.
Action 5: Base fund the child care system so that child care continues to be free for parents.
- Emergency child care for a range of front-line workers is now being provided free of parent fees. This important support for families must be continued. If they are important enough to have free child care today, they deserve it tomorrow too.
We are calling on the provincial and federal government to ensure that the health, safety and well-being of educators and families is part of any re-opening plan, and to put child care at the core of social and economic recovery.