Excerpts from the campaign description:
In January 2005, federal, provincial and territorial ministers will meet to forge a deal for a national child care system. Parents and child care communities from coast to coast to coast urge our governments to get the building blocks of the new system right from the start:
- A publicly funded, sustainable system for quality child care parents can count on and afford. Government provides most of the funding directly to programs, giving them a stable operating base. In Quebec, for example, parents pay a maximum $7 a day and government pays the rest.
- A Child Care Act that guarantees standards and the principles of quality, universality, accessibility, developmental programming and inclusiveness.
- Public accountability tied to provincial and territorial five-year plans that contain goals, timelines and targets, and a way to measure real progress in developing comprehensive family- and centre-based child care services.
- Money for children, so that in the future every public dollar goes directly into services. Services should be expanded in the non-profit sector, with a transition plan developed for existing commercial centres.
These building blocks are tested and solid. They come out of 30 years of collective experience, research and practice in early learning and care&emdash;in Quebec, Canada and around the world. We continue to respect Quebec's right to develop its own program.
Ken Dryden, the federal minister responsible for child care, and his provincial and territorial counterparts need to know that Canadians want an early learning and care system based on this strong foundation.
- Mail a building block to Ken Dryden, M.P., Minister of Social Development, House of Commons, Parliament Buildings, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6. Mail another one to your province or territory's minister responsible for child care. Include a note for each minister (or use the note below) on the essential building blocks for child care. Tell the ministers you expect them to bring the blocks to their January meeting, and build a pan-Canadian child care system!
- Get your friends, colleagues and neighbours to send blocks too.
- Take the campaign to your child care centre. Collect building blocks and notes from parents and centre staff. Get the children to draw blocks of their own. Mail in everything in two big batches: federal and provincial/territorial.