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Day care: Canada’s silent crisis

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Publication Date: 
9 Aug 2016



Re: High child care costs keep moms at home, Aug. 4

Re: Ontario bans ‘unfair' wait-list fees for daycare spots, Aug. 3

High child care costs keep moms at home, Aug. 4

"If you ask me, it's a crisis."

With those words, Toronto mother Alisa Fulshtinsky summed up the experience of thousands of Canadian parents trying to find and pay for quality child care.

The child care shortage in Canada is a silent crisis that leaves too many new parents stressed and scrambling, too many children without safe, nurturing places to learn and play, and, as the new finance department briefing note points out, this silent crisis leaves too many mothers on the sidelines of the labour market.

Happily, a solution is within our grasp. The federal government's promise of a national early learning and child care framework could be a game changer for Canadian families, but only if all levels of government work together.

Governments should be less worried about avoiding "one-size-fits-all" and more interested in creating a strong national program. After all, there are parents in every jurisdiction of the country experiencing the exact same crisis that Alisa Fulshtinsky describes.

Carolyn Ferns, public policy coordinator, Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care

Ontario bans ‘unfair' wait-list fees for daycare spots, Aug. 3

Wait-list fees for child-care spaces are a thing of the past in Ontario. This is surely a victory for the child-care movement; however, it is a small issue relative to the larger problems families face, i.e.: high fees, lack of spaces and questionable quality.

In this article, Sara Ehrhardt said what I am sure many parents with young children are thinking, "We need a system we can all get into for daycare, like a school system."

I am glad to see that in Ontario we are moving in the right direction with child care, however slow it may be - eliminating wait-list fees is a great start. I hope this shift will continue in early childhood education, and our Education Minister Mitzie Hunter will continue to listen to parents and advocates.

I am a parent and child care advocate and I say we need a child care system that is high quality, affordable and accessible to all, that puts children and families first.

Shona Mills, Burlington

-reprinted from Toronto Star