No new funding for child care could see the dismantling of child care programs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   MEDIA RELEASE                March 26, 2009

No new funding for child care could see the dismantling of child care programs

Toronto – In economic tough times, parents need affordable child care more than ever to stay in the workforce or go to school.

Child care advocates, parents and municipalities told the Government that without new provincial funding to replace expiring federal funds, municipalities would be forced to cut child care subsidies starting in September.

 “The Government has argued they have a year to lobby the Federal Government to continue funding. The reality is that municipalities who deliver need funding guarantees or they will start to cut child care subsidies when there is turnover in September. If subsidies are cut it will lead to further unemployment. Many child centres will lay off staff, and parents will not be able to work.” commented Cheryl DeGras, Co-President of the OCBCC.

The chronic lack of investment from both the Federal and Provincial governments means that early learning and child care programs must fight to maintain our current funding. In fact in 2003 Dalton McGuinty promised $300 million in new provincial investment in early learning and child care, money which five years has yet to be delivered. That funding would make a real difference today for many families who need early learning and child care.

“The tragedy for families is that with a tough economy the need for affordable child care grows. Parents can’t work or go to school without child care. As we talk about investments in infrastructure, early learning and child care represents investments in our social infrastructure. It creates jobs and provides a needed service to children and families. Continuing to under-invest in child care will make it more difficult for families to make it through today’s recession”, says Tracy Saarikoski, Co-President, Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care and the Executive Director of a not-for-profit child care centre in Sudbury.

The OCBCC argues the Ontario Government must 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, Communications Director, OCBCC    416-538-0628 ext. 4

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.