Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - Ontario

October 29, 2009 13:57 ET

Thunder Bay to "Jump Up" for Public Child Care

Coalition of child care supporters announces free concert this Sunday

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 29, 2009) - The City of Thunder Bay will 'Jump Up' for public child care this Sunday, November 1, a coalition of child care advocates told a news conference today.

The coalition of activists announced a free community concert called "Jump Up for Public Child Care." As well, they called on local politicians from all levels of government to reaffirm their support for quality, accessible child care.

"Early learning and care enhances the quality of life for children, for families, and for communities. It is a tool of economic and social empowerment that allows for families to more fully participate in society," said Thunder Bay District Labour Council President Melanie Kelso, who was joined at the news conference by Councillor Iain Angus, chair of the Thunder Bay District Social Services Administration Board.

Currently, there are approximately 600 children on waiting lists for subsidized child care in Thunder Bay and the surrounding area. Based on some duplication and part-time enrolment, this means an equivalent of 400 full-time enrolment child care spaces are needed.

In the midst of such a shortfall in affordable, publicly-delivered child care, the region stands to lose more than $650,000 in child care funding, as the Federally and Provincially co-funded Best Start program winds down and short-term Provincial bridging funds expire.

The "Jump Up for Public Child Care" concert is a project of CUPE Ontario, the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care and the Ontario Federation of Labour. This free concert is family-friendly and non-partisan. It will feature children's musician and Juno Award nominee Chris McKhool, and local children's author Jean Pendziwol. There will be free colouring books and crayons for the kids on Sunday, November 1, 2:00-4:00 p.m. at West Thunder Community Centre, 915 South Edward Street, Thunder Bay.

For more information on CUPE Ontario's child care campaign, please visit www.cupe.on.ca and check out www.waitingforchildcare.ca.

Contact Information

  • Thunder Bay District Labour Council
    Melanie Kelso
    President
    (807) 620-0396
    or
    CUPE
    Kevin Wilson
    Communications
    (416) 821-6641
    www.cupe.on.ca