National child care system needed more than ever

“Now is the time for a universally accessible, publicly funded, not-for-profit, and high quality child care system that fairly compensates workers in a unionized workforce.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President

Ottawa (30 July 2020) — The impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on families has added a new urgency to the need for a national child care system said Larry Brown, President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE). In a letter to Ahmed Hussen, the federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, NUPGE called on the federal government to build on the support it has already provided for child care during the pandemic.

“Now is the time for a universally accessible, publicly funded, not-for-profit, and high quality child care system that fairly compensates workers in a unionized workforce,” said Brown.

Difficulties finding child care forcing many women out of the workforce

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, it has been a struggle for many parents to find child care. Parents have had to juggle work, child care and home schooling.

Disproportionately, it has been women who have had to make sacrifices. Women’s labour force participation has dramatically declined. Women are effectively being forced out of the workforce and this will have a long-term impact on gender equity.

Children benefit from quality child care

Quality child care plays an important role in children’s development. This is particularly true for children requiring additional support who have been particularly hard hit by the lack of child care during the pandemic.

Federal funding required for a universal child care program

The taxation powers of the federal government mean that it has the ability to raise far more revenue than provincial or territorial governments. For that reason, like health care, post-secondary education and social services, federal funding is required if a universal child care program is to become reality.