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CUPE is launching a cross-country tour promoting publicly-delivered early childhood care and education - a move that would benefit children and parents, boost the economy and stem the tide of for-profit child care.
The tour kicked off in Fredericton, NB on Oct. 27, and hits Halifax, NS on Oct. 29.
The tour's slogan is "A great place to grow - public child care". It features academics, advocates and CUPE activists, and aims to raise awareness and mobilize support for public bodies like school boards or local governments delivering child care.
Canada's patchwork approach to child care relies on already-stretched parents and voluntary groups to set up and maintain non-profit centres. While these programs have been the backbone of child care, they are privately delivered and unable to provide services everywhere the need exists.
Canada is also experiencing an alarming trend - a surge in private, for-profit child care. Research shows for-profit care scores lower in quality studies.
Canada's child care services are overwhelmingly privatized, fragmented, and expensive. The proven solution is public funding and delivery.
Forum participants include Martha Friendly and Susan Prentice, co-authors of a new book, About Canada: Childcare.
"Public child care more than pays for itself through measurable social, educational, health and economic benefits to children, families and society. Delivering child care through local public bodies like school boards or municipalities responds to community needs, is affordable and offers high quality," says Friendly.