TORONTO, ON — Families, educators and child care advocates are holding a rally today at Queen’s Park as part of a Canada-Wide Day of Action for Child Care organized by Child Care Now and allies. Their message is being echoed at local events in child care programs across Ontario and throughout Canada demanding improved access to child care and a solution to the workforce crisis caused by low wages and precarious work.

“Ontario’s $10-a-day child care rollout is leaving too many behind. Thousands of families are stuck on waiting lists for access to affordable child care. More than half of Ontario’s Early Childhood Educators and child care staff don’t qualify for new wage supports.  And while federal funding has increased, provincial child care funding has flatlined since 2018,” said Carolyn Ferns, Policy Coordinator for the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC) and a Board Member of Child Care Now. “CWELCC is an ambitious project and it’s important that we take a moment to highlight its limitations and correct course. That’s what today is about.”

Child care advocates point to a staffing crisis, with some estimates that Ontario will be short 8,5000 early childhood educators by 2026, as only the most visible sign of problems to come. Waitlists across the province have closed, centres are running at half capacity, and some families are being asked to keep their children home one day a week because centres just don’t have enough staff.

Solutions to these challenges start by implementing a real workforce strategy, including a salary scale starting at $30-$40 an hour for Registered Early Childhood Educators and $25 per hour for non-RECE staff.

The Day of Action comes just six weeks after the annual Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day. “We have to move beyond gratitude and into action. Early Childhood Educators and child care workers deserve it, but so too do the families who have been shut out of our unequal system,” said Alana Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario (AECEO). “I am proud that families, educators, child care workers, operators, and allies are standing together today to call on the government to solve the crisis in this sector to create a system where everyone can thrive.”

“Canada is missing hundreds of thousands of licensed child care spaces,” said Ferns. “In a cost-of-living crisis Ontario families can’t find a child care space when they need it. The Ontario government and the federal government know that the workforce crisis in child care is holding us back, and now, it’s time for them to urgently address the problem so that families can have child care when they need it.”


For more information, contact:

Carolyn Ferns
Policy Coordinator, Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care
[email protected]

Jesse Mintz, CUPE Communications Representative
[email protected]

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