Today is Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day, a celebration of workers who help care for and educate our children.
It’s easy to celebrate the workers, but it’s hard to find much to celebrate about the state of child care in this province. Ontario has the second-highest average child care costs in the country and there are never enough spaces to meet demand. Child care workers are already stretched to the limit and their salaries are a far-cry from the compensation they deserve for the important work that they do.
The Ford government is cutting 20 per cent of the provincial funding to cash-strapped municipalities to help them pay for the creation of new child care spaces. Premier Ford needs to reverse these cuts and go back to the funding model where the province pays 100 per cent of the cost of new child care spaces. Anything less amounts to nothing more than hollow words.
OPSEU represents many early childhood educators and child care workers in the community and in community colleges. Our union salutes them today and will never stop fighting for them so they have better wages, working conditions and support in a fully publicly-funded system. They are too important to our children, our society and our future.
In solidarity, Warren (Smokey) Thomas
President, Ontario Public Service Employees Union