NDP’s Early Learning and Child Care critic Doly Begum was joined by parents, children, child care advocates and early childhood educators on Thursday for a play day in support of NDP legislation to create high quality, low-cost child care in Ontario.
“Parents and early childhood educators all agree that non-profit childcare is better for our children,” said Begum. “The crucial early years care of our kids should not be in the hands of big-box providers to float on the stock exchange. By committing all future provincial funding to not-for-profit child care, we’ll ensure more parents will be able to afford good quality care where our kids come first, not profits.”
Bill 45, Scarborough Southwest MPP Doly Begum’s private member’s bill ensures that affordable and accessible childcare is protected and expanded in Ontario by directing future public funding only to licensed not-for-profit child care spaces. Research has shown that non-profit child care offers a higher quality of service with lower staff turnover, and at a more affordable cost than for-profit corporate child care spaces.
A memo from the Ford government in August 2018 opened the door to the removal of the For-Profit Maximum Threshold, a key protector against the takeover of Ontario’s child care sector by big box for-profit corporations. Child care advocates such as the Ontario Coalition for Better Childcare have raised their concern over this, and the lack of consultation over the move.
“This bill will help make child care in Ontario more accessible and affordable to parents, and at the same time provide better working conditions for ECEs and early years staff,” said Alana Powell of the Association of Early Childhood Educators, who joined Begum at the legislature on Thursday alongside other child care advocates to support Bill 45.
“Ontarians pay the highest childcare fees in Canada and we need to ensure public money goes towards providing high quality and affordable care and education for our children, professional pay and decent work for our educators, and not profits to shareholders.”