SUDBURY, Ont. — Municipal child care workers today urged Sudbury provincial by-election candidates to support their call for new “mitigation” funding to keep Junior Citizens Child Care Centre open.
Despite Sudbury families’ increasing need for after-hours child care and appeals by parents using the centre not to close it, the City of Greater Sudbury council last August, voted to close Junior Citizens by the end of June 2015.
Several councillors who voted to close the centre – Sudbury’s main francophone program – blamed the Ontario Liberal government’s new child care funding formula for Sudbury receiving $3.6 million less in provincial funding for child care, by 2016.
Since the closure vote last summer, Sudbury has deregulated retail shopping hours. Many stores are now open late. This says, Darryl Taylor the president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 4705, the union representing over 20 child care workers affected by the centre closure, “will mean more parents working in retail, will need night hour care for their children. It should not be acceptable to any parent and grandparent in this city that our municipality has stopped providing local families with a needed service.”
On behalf of the displaced child care staff and many of the parents who had joined with CUPE 4705 in a community outreach to keep Junior Citizens open, Taylor called on by-election candidates to make increased access to child care a priority.
“I know that to get my vote, and the vote of many city staff and their families, candidates need to commit, that if elected they will actively push the provincial government to not claw back funding for child care in Sudbury and to inject new funding for municipal programs. Our community needs Junior Citizens to stay open. It’s not like there are an abundance of child care spots here. There aren’t,” says Taylor.
In Sudbury there is a waiting list for families to get a child care space.
“We have a new council. We’re confident that many of the councillors elected last fall would see the merit of a new vote on the future of Junior Citizens, if they knew that the newly elected MPP is advocating for better provincial funding for child care in Sudbury.”
For more information please contact:
Stella Yeadon CUPE Communications 416-559-9300