INNOVATIVE MOTHERS MARK MOTHER'S DAY WITH NEW TASK FORCE ON CHILD CARE

TORONTO, May 8 /CNW/ - After enjoying breakfast in bed, a group of Toronto mothers launched a Task Force on Child Care that will give parents an opportunity to have their say on the kind of child care their families need.

Concerned mothers, community organizations, and mothers have come together to form the Task Force and ensure that mothers' voices are included in policy discussions about the lack of accessible, affordable, high-quality child care in Toronto. Over the coming weeks, the Task Force will be holding hearings and discussions across the city, as well as administering an online survey.

"There seems to be a lot of talk about child care, but not a lot of that talk includes mothers," said Sarah Blackstock, Director of Advocacy & Communications, YWCA Toronto. "We work with thousands of women every year who are unable to do paid work or to return to school because they can't find decent, affordable child care. We are thrilled to be supporting this initiative."

There were several mothers at the launch who shared their stories of frustration at trying to organize high-quality, affordable childcare so that they could return to paid work or go to school. "I'm relying on my mother to help with child care so I can go back to school in the fall. Infant care is not affordable. Without her, I couldn't finish my degree," said Jennifer Kim, mother of a seven-month-old.

"Our daughter is in her third daycare in a year because the first two closed," said Petra Kukacka, another mother who has struggled to find child care. "I am looking for secure daycare in Toronto, and worried it will only get tougher with budgets streamlining at every level of government."

Blackstock added that she has a three year old daughter starting kindergarten next year for whom she has not yet been able to secure child care. "It's not just children and families who benefit from high-quality child care, so does our economy and society as a whole. The early years of children's lives play a huge role in determining their future success."

"I am very pleased to support the efforts of Mothers for Child Care to gather and document Toronto mothers' experiences trying to find high quality, reliable child care they can afford." said Councillor Janet Davis. "Women's voices must be heard by governments at every level if we are going to get politicians to address the shameful lack of child care and early childhood services across this city."

The Task Force will be releasing its report to coincide with Father's Day. The Task Force urges everyone to visit www.mothersforchildcare.ca to fill out the survey or to find out how to get involved.

Organizations supporting Mothers for Child Care:

Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services       South Asian Women's Rights Organization
Campaign 2000       South Asian Women's Centre
East York East Toronto Family Resources       Toronto Coalition for Better Child Care
Family Service Toronto       Toronto Women's City Alliance
Family Supports Institute Ontario       YWCA Toronto
Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care       YWCA Canada

SOURCE YWCA Toronto

For further information:

visit www.mothersforchildcare.ca, call 416-962-8881 x 232 or 416-892-6845 (mobile).

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YWCA Toronto

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