Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

September 20, 2011 03:30 ET

REMINDER: 89% of NL parents with child care-aged children support a public system-new poll

ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwire - Sept. 20, 2011) - A new, province-wide poll on child care in Newfoundland and Labrador shows that families with young kids strongly support the idea of a public system.

CUPE NL President Wayne Lucas says, "At every income level, NL parents soundly support (89%) having the provincial government set up child care programs as part of the public school system. Our province needs to recruit and retain workers if we want to continue to be a 'have' province. We can't do that without fixing this problem.

"CUPE now has the most extensive data on how much parents pay for child care, by size of family and household income, and where most of that care is coming from – and the statistics paint a troubling picture. Among the poll's more dramatic findings:

  • 86% of respondents are using relatives to provide care, while 65% are using a babysitter. In sharp contrast to this, only 30% of families are using a child care centre.
  • One third of parents and guardians (33%) who have young children say they recently had problems finding someone to look after children who live with them.
  • Two thirds (65%) of parents who use child care facilities pay $500 or more a month – 22% pay $1,000 and up.
  • Parents using home-based child care arrangements are paying more for child care – $786 a month on average versus $707 for parents using child care centres. This may be due partly to subsidies provided at centres.
  • More than half of the part-time workers surveyed (54%) said the lack of child care was a barrier to finding full-time work.

Says Lucas, "Parents are running from grand-parent to friend to school program and back again. This is exactly why we need public policy and a public system. Our children deserve better than this.

"Our message to all of the candidates in the upcoming provincial election is that the public strongly supports the idea of a public child care system. It's time we started moving on it."

The findings are based on telephone interviews conducted by the Vector Poll from August 22 - August 29, 2011, with 304 adults (aged 18 and over) throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. The margin of error is 5.6%, 19 times out of 20 (or 95%).

For all of the poll's findings go to

Contact Information

  • Wayne Lucas
    CUPE NL President
    (709) 727-2509 (Cell)

    Michelle Cohen
    CUPE Equality Rep.
    (902) 455-4180 (o)

    John McCracken
    CUPE Communications Rep.
    (902) 455-4180 (o)