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As someone who has worked to develop rural child care in many parts of the country, I know that small rural employers are hard pressed to respond to the many requests for fundraising that come their way from community organizations &emdash; let alone build child-care centres.
We cannot rely on business to provide child care to rural families. We need governments to provide resources for communities. We have developed models of child care that work in rural communities, models that build partnerships between social, health, education and child-care services to provide comprehensive supports to children and their families.
Where rural child care does exist it is due the presence of relatively high levels of public funding. Indeed, Ontario and Manitoba had targeted rural communities as priorities for expansion under the agreements they signed with the previous federal government. These deals have since been scrapped by the Stephen Harper government and with them the many plans and hopes of rural families.
* Carol Gott, Rural Voices
- reprinted from the Toronto Star