Canada’s unions are welcoming the Ontario government’s commitment to a universal approach to child care and say the federal government must do the same.
The Ontario government has announced a renewed Early Years and Child Care Policy Framework that pledges to make child care more accessible and affordable to all families, including a plan to invest in new child care spaces and a pledge to grow the non-profit sector.
The federal government is expected to release details about its own National Early Learning and Child Care Framework soon. This year’s federal budget pledged $7 billion over 10 years for early learning and child care.
“We are especially pleased to see that the Ontario government make universal access a priority and we hope the federal government’s framework will ensure the same approach for families in all provinces and territories,” said CLC President, Hassan Yussuff.
The Ontario government’s framework included many of the elements the CLC and its allies say are crucial to any child care and early childhood education system, specifically:
- Access to high quality, public and not-for-profit child care for all families who need it;
- Making child care more affordable;
- Ensuring that child care workers have decent wages and working conditions; and
- Ensuring the child care system is inclusive of children with special needs.
The CLC and its allies have called on the federal government to announce a framework that paves the way for a well-designed child care system that takes into account the diversity of needs: not a one-size-fits-all approach.
“The goal must be affordable, inclusive, high-quality child care systems across Canada,” said Yussuff. “We also need a workforce development strategy that addresses wages and working conditions, as well as recruiting and training.”