TORONTO-The Ontario government’s announcement that it has finally joined every other province and territory across Canada in signing the federal child care plan marks a long-overdue turning point for Canadian families.
“Every parent across Canada having access to affordable, accessible, quality child care will be the result of decades of advocacy, of sacrifice, of struggle,” said Naureen Rizvi, Ontario Regional Director. “This child care plan will be a turning point for Canadian families and serve to strengthen our communities, nurture our children, and transform the lives of child care workers.”
Unifor is an active champion for access to affordable child care and has worked in coalition with advocacy groups to advocate for families and child care workers. Unifor works to improve communities and workplaces through other equity-building policies and programs.
“Providing access to child care is providing access to employment, to independence, to security, to self-fulfillment, and to equity in our workplaces and everywhere decisions are made,” said Tracey Ramsey, Unifor Women’s Department Director. “We will be watching closely to ensure the agreement serves the needs of Ontario families and workers, and not just the needs of the Ford government.”
Savings for Ontario parents are to start as of April 1, 2022, whereas provinces that signed earlier, like Nova Scotia, are making the rebate to parents retroactive to January 1, 2022.
“Ontario families should not have had to wait for today’s photo op with the Premier, and will actually pay for this delay by not seeing discounted fees until April – but now it’s time to get to work to provide them the same access to child care as every other family across Canada,” said Ramsey. “This victory belongs to all the parents, grandparents, caregivers, Early Childhood Educators who all provide care that for too long has been undervalued, under-appreciated and under-paid.”
Parent fees for child care in Ontario are some of the highest in the country and, until today, Ontario had been the only jurisdiction in Canada not to sign the federal child care program that will deliver $10-a-day child care by 2026.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.