Organizers of a free concert intended to raise awareness of the need for public child care hope they‘re one step closer to their goals today.
The free Jump Up concert, held Sunday afternoon at the West Thunder Community Centre, brought out more than 100 parents and their children to hear a performance by Juno-nominated children‘s musician Chris McKhool and a book reading by Thunder Bay author Jean Pendziwol.
And underlying it all was a message about the importance of public child care, funded by the government.
CUPE Ontario secretary-treasurer Fred Hahn - the concert series is a joint project of CUPE, the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care and the Ontario Federation of Labour - said the concert was a great way to reach out to the public in cities like Thunder Bay.
"We‘ve gotta use every method possible, and this is a great thing," he said. "It brings people together in the community, it gives some fun, some entertainment, but it also gives people a chance to think about how important child care is - how important it is not only for working families because they need the child care so they can go out and do their jobs, but it‘s also a job-creation program."
Hahn said every dollar spent on child care generates 90 cents in income for the provincial government. Also, every million dollars invested in child care generates 40 jobs, he said.
Pendziwol said organizers contacted her publisher, Kids Can Press, in their search for a local author, and she agreed to come on board.
"As a children‘s author, I think that children are important . . . and an important part of our lives and our society," she said Sunday.
Parents who attended were encouraged to sign petitions and otherwise get involved in the public child care campaign.
"We need all the help we can get from the community to send a signal to the province and to the federal government that more needs to be done on child care," said Coun. Iain Angus, chairman of the District Social Services Administration Board (DSSAB).
- reprinted from the Thunder Bay Chronicle Herald