Child care supporters out in force to support new Act

    OTTAWA, April 23 /CNW Telbec/ - Bill C303, the Early Learning and Child
Care Act will help Canada build a much-needed child care system.
    Bill C303 passed Second Reading in the House of Commons with the support
of all three opposition parties. Committee hearings open Tuesday, April 24 and
continue over four days. The bill's supporters will be out in force to ensure
it moves forward for passage.
    The Act enshrines in law access and quality standards for child care
services and requires governments to adopt transparent accountability
mechanisms. The Act is essential to ensure that public child care dollars are
directed to their intended purpose, says Morna Ballantyne coordinator of Code
Blue, a cross-Canada campaign supporting the Act. "This year the federal
government will transfer $600 million to the provinces for child care with no
provisions to track the funding."
    Ballantyne plans to outline for the committee the problems lax monitoring
has caused, including some provinces pocketing the money.
    "Not only is the Harper government refusing to account for money
earmarked for children," said Ballantyne. "It has stopped funding for data
collection and research, preventing anyone else from doing the job. We are not
the only ones concerned. In fact, the government's own advisory committee
report recommended that the government develop a comprehensive research
strategy for collecting child care data."
    Last year, more than 90,000 individuals and organizations representing
municipal councils, school boards, unions, community, cultural and equity
seeking organizations signed onto an open letter in support of child care
agreements with standards and reporting requirements. The Act enshrines those
sentiments in law.

    Code Blue is a Canada-wide campaign to build a real pan-Canadian child
care system. The campaign brings together parents, national, provincial and
territorial child care organizations, labour, women's and social justice
groups along with Canadians from all walks of life.

For further information:

For further information: call: Kerry McCuaig, (647) 295-2808; Morna
Ballantyne, (613) 791-3411; For more information on the Act see

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