Following the recent announcement of a landmark deal between British Columbia and Nova Scotia and the Federal government, CUPE’s child care advocates call on Premier Ford to prioritize universal child care in Ontario.

“Generations of women have been calling for universal, affordable, accessible, public and not-for-profit child care for decades—they’re the ones who’ve brought us to this critical point and precipice of a great child care revolution in Canada,” says Candace Rennick, CUPE Ontario’s Secretary Treasurer, parent, and advocate for universal child care. “While universal child care is within our grasp, we still have important work to do to hold this government to account to negotiating a real system of public and not-for-profit child care and early learning.”

On July 8, the Federal government announced a deal with British Colombia outlining a phased plan to overhaul child care across the country. The objectives of the bilateral agreements outline a goal to achieve up to $10-per-day child care in licensed spaces before 2027, the creation of more than 30,000 new spaces within five years, and the 50 per cent reduction of parent fees by the end of 2022.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted women, dozens of child care centres have permanently closed, and more than 1/5 of Ontario’s child care workforce has been laid off or left the sector in pursuit of decent work,” says Carolyn Ferns, Policy Coordinator at the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC). “Premier Ford must act swiftly to restore child care and begin building a new system of public and not-for-profit child care that is good for children and affordable for families.”

CUPE Ontario, in collaboration with OCBCC, AECEO, and other child care advocates, will work with all levels of government to advocate for a universal system of child care in Ontario through grassroots organizing, campaign support, and member mobilization.

Take Action Today for Universal Child Care

OCBCC and AECEO have developed a Roadmap to Universal Child Care in Ontario, which describes a shared vision and path forward. The roadmap features 20 Policy Interventions that can transform early learning and child care in Ontario from a market-based patchwork to a comprehensive, publicly-funded system.

CUPE members are encouraged to take action using the Roadmap Action Toolkit, which outlines actions that allies and advocates can take to make universal child care in Ontario a reality.

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