Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

March 19, 2014 13:49 ET

Media Advisory: Ottawa parents, child care staff invite elected federal and provincial leaders to "come together" at the Centretown centre this Friday

"Support young families, increase access to public, non-profit child care," they urge

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 19, 2014) - Increasing access to quality, affordable, public and non-profit child care is one of the best ways for governments to support a new generation of young families and the economy, say Ottawa parents and child care staff demanding solutions and action on a universal child care program.

This Friday, March 21 at 12:30 p.m., they will endeavour to foster much needed cooperation on child care policy between the federal and provincial governments with a "come together" event at the Centretown Cooperative Daycare, located at 94 James St. They've invited a gamut of Ottawa members of the provincial parliament (MPPs) and their federal counterparts (MPs) to join the children at Centretown - a parent, staff cooperative centre - for a play, song and learn, "come together" session.

"It's our hope that our elected representatives will take the opportunity and come. We need them to be open and engage constructively - not divisively - on child care. We are giving them a helping hand to do it," says Ottawa child care worker and activist Athina Basiliadis. She will be joined at the Centretown event by over 200 social service workers and child care staff from across Ontario, many of who are also working parents needing access to child care. Walking from the Delta City Centre hotel on Lyon St. North, they will be bringing with them, armloads of teddy bears as a symbol of the tens of thousands of children on child care waiting lists across Ontario. The teddy bears will be donated to Ottawa area child care centres.

In Ontario, we know parents and early learning and care educators are fed up with the current stalemate on child care between the two levels of government, says Basiliadis. "Families need accessible child care. We want both the federal and provincial governments working together on solutions and toward a real universal system of early learning and care."

Successive research studies show that increased investment in childcare is good for the economy and helps communities and children thrive. Early childhood education centres like Centretown provide quality, enriched learning environments for children to grow, learn and play.

"We want political leaders to put aside simplistic party dogma and experience quality child care for themselves. Then we want them to do what's best for families, children and the economy and that's working together to create a universal child care program," says Carrie Lynn Poole-Cotnam, chair of CUPE's social service sector in Ontario.

Those invited to "come together" include: MPs Paul Dewar, John Baird, David McGuinty, Pierre Poilievre, Mauril Belanger and MPPs Yasir Navqi, Bob Chiarelli, Madeleine Meilleur, Phil McNeely, Lisa MacLeod.

Contact Information

  • CUPE Communication
    Stella Yeadon
    (416) 559-9300