OTTAWA, Nov. 6, 2014 /CNW/ - Despite rallies, hundreds of telephone calls and thousands of letters from parents and providers across Ontario opposing changes to regulated daycare, the Government pulled the plug on the debate on Bill 10 - the Childcare Modernization Act after just six hours.
Demands from both the Official Opposition and NDP parties that the Bill's Standing Committee travel in order to allow stakeholders across the province to voice their concerns during the amendment process went unheeded. Instead, the Standing Committee on Social Policy will remain in Queen's Park, preventing thousands of concerned parents and providers from participating.
"This Government is choosing to ignore the very serious concerns of thousands of families across Ontario. It is pushing a through a massive Bill as quickly as possible in order to avoid the Bill's damaging and counterproductive proposals from becoming public. There is no question that this Bill, as written, will create a childcare crisis in Ontario," said Heidi Higgins, co-founder of the Coalition of Independent Childcare Providers of Ontario (CICPO)
Parents and providers will be holding a protest at Education Minister Liz Sandals' Guelph constituency office on November 9th. Another will be held at Liberal House Leader Yasir Naqvi's constituency office in Ottawa on November 10th. Further protests are also being organized.
Among other things, Bill 10 proposes to implement new restrictions on regulated care which will result in independent childcare providers (ICP) being required to immediately terminate childcare spaces across the province while other providers will close their doors entirely. CICPO calculates a loss of as many as 140,000 daycare spaces as well as fee hikes of 30 to 40%. Despite these forecasts, at a time when childcare centres are closing around the province due to the impact of full day kindergarten, the government steadfastly argues this Bill will not reduce affordable childcare. Licensed spaces provide care for only 20% of Ontario's children. Tens of thousands of children are already on waitlists.
In order to avert a childcare crisis in Ontario, CICPO is recommending that the current regulations regarding informal care stay in place and that the Government allow for individual licensing of all ICPs which would ensure compliance and that all health and safety measures are met.
SOURCE: Coalition of Independent Childcare Providers of Ontario (CICPO)
For further information: Media contact: Heidi Higgins: 613-255-1247; Guelph Rally Contact: Tracy Bond Skelton: 416-994-8574; URL: CICPO.ca