Significant child care wage increase and critical legislation hang in the balance

Child Care Advocates call on parties to pass provincial budget

TORONTO, May 1, 2014 /CNW/ - Child care advocates are calling on all provincial parties to work together, pass the budget and continue with much needed improvement for Ontario's licensed child care system.

It is critical that planned wage increases of $2.00 over two years proceed. Child care centres have experienced high rates of turnover with staff moving to school board positions or leaving the child care sector altogether.

Early childhood educators, a profession requiring at minimum 2 years of post-secondary education have current median hourly wages of $16.21.

Wage increases are an important first step to larger investments that would ensure expansion of public and not-for-profit early learning and child care programs to benefit Ontario children and families.

"The importance of Investing in our staff is one of the most important issues facing licensed child care centres. Across the province, centres have had challenges keeping our qualified staff. It's overdue and absolutely the right step to take", said Sheila Olan-MacLean, of Kawartha Child Care Services and President of the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care.

In addition, if the budget fails and an election is called, the Child Care Modernization Act will die. The Act proposes needed changes to child care legislation, including establishing new powers to fine and close illegal home child care operators.

"In Ontario four children have died in unlicensed home child care homes in less than a year. It is essential that the Child Care Modernization Act be adopted.  We need that legislation to ensure the safety of children and to improve accountability for Ontario's child care system", added MacLean.

SOURCE: Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC)

For further information: Andrea Calver, Coordinator, OCBCC, Office cell 416-434-8031 (Budget time: at Queen's Park); Sheila Olan-MacLean, President, OCBCC, Office 705-749-3488 x 214

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www.childcareontario.org

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Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC)

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