Toronto – Child care advocates, parents and municipalities warned that without new provincial funding to replace expiring federal funds, municipalities would be forced to cut child care subsidies starting in September.
At today's Queen's Park Lobby, Minister of Children and Youth Services Deb Matthews announced $18 mllion dollars in bridge funding to forestall cuts to child care subsidies.
“It’s a good sign that the province realizes the urgency of the issue regarding expiring federal funds. The $18 million dollars for early learning and child care is $18 million dollars that was not available yesterday. However, the funding announced is not enough to solve the problem. The province is going to have to work with municipalities to address the remaining shortfall and ensure not one child care space is lost due to funding cuts”, commented Tracy Saarikoski, President of the OCBCC.
Throughout the day, Coalition representatives will be pushing for more funding for early learning and child care programs. We have appointments with 36 MPP's at Queen's Park today. We will be following up with other MPP's who could not meet today for local constituency meetings.
We will be joined by many parents from partner organizations such as the Canadian Federation of University Women, Punjabi Community Health Services, the South Asian Women's Organization and the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians. Many of the women who are coming will have never been to Queen's Park or participated in a lobby before, but are coming because of the urgency of more funding for affordable child care.
The OCBCC argues the Ontario Government must permanently save threatened child care subsidies, create 7500 new affordable child care spaces and meet pay equity obligations that would increase salaries for low paid child care staff as part of any plan to achieve a healthy economy.
For more information please call: Andrea Calver, Coordinator, OCBCC cell 416-434-8031
The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC) represents the voices of over 500 members including child care centres and individuals advocating for universally accessible, high quality, non-profit child care in Ontario.