OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas issued the following statement today to mark Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day.
Today marks Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day. On this day, October 16, OPSEU applauds all the members who work in child care. You are Champions for Children, this year’s theme, and you are needed now more than ever.
Ontario has had a child care crisis for years. The system does not have enough licensed, non-profit child care spaces and child care fees are the highest in the country. The previous government had begun to take steps in the right direction by putting a cap on funding to for-profit child care businesses. The government created 100,000 new licensed child care spots and expanded subsidies to low income families.
Now, the Ford government is turning its back on children. At a time when quality, affordable child care is scarce, the government cut $22.7 million in subsidies to low-income families trying to get child care spaces, and also removed a cap on funding to for-profit businesses.
These harmful actions counter the decades of evidence and research that show quality child care is best supported by a public, not-for-profit system that is properly funded. Instead, we now have a system on life support. I want to assure you that together, we will hold this government accountable and we will continue to fight for a fully public system.
Today we celebrate the dedication of child care workers and early childhood educators across this province, who are doing their very best under the circumstances. On behalf of all 155,000 OPSEU members, we salute you!
Warren (Smokey) Thomas
President, Ontario Public Service Employees Union