Unifor members were on Parliament Hill on Monday, lobbying for universal, affordable, inclusive and high quality child care.
“Everyone relies on someone who relies on child care, and Canada’s child care system is in crisis,” said Lisa Kelly, Unifor Director of Women’s Department. “We know that investing in child care is an important economic driver and it strengthens our local communities.”
Advocates spoke with MPs and Senators and highlighted the ways in which accessible child care enables parents to work or get the education and training they need to secure good jobs. In particular, members focused on how accessible, high-quality child care opens up opportunities for families, improves women’s equality, helps reduce poverty and benefits everyone involved.
On the other side of the equation, child care workers also shed light on the low wages, and precarious, stressful working conditions that increase the likelihood of burn-out and high turnover in this female-dominated sector.
“As residents and citizens of Canada, we have a right to make our voices heard and it is critical that we use this voice to make a difference in our communities,” said Erin Howell Sharpe, Women’s Advocate, Local 506. “This is how we can ensure issues that greatly impact our lives are on decision-makers’ minds. It’s how we can set the agenda and call for action by elected officials.”
Activists called for the child care that is:
- Universal, because every family in Canada deserves access to child care no matter where they live, regardless of a parent’s employment status or a child’s spoken language.
- Affordable, as cost should not be a barrier for any family to access child care.
- Inclusive, in that it is flexible and has the resources to accommodate the needs of all children, including those with physical or mental disabilities.
- High quality, where children are engaged in stimulating activities in a safe environment, with highly-skilled and appropriately compensated staff.
The lobby day was held in partnership with Child Care Now, a non-profit, membership based organization that advocates for a publicly funded, inclusive, quality, non-profit child care system.
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