ACORN's $10 and Change Campaign

 
Child care fees in Ontario have reached crisis level. Our province is home to the top eight cities with the highest child care fees in Canada. In Toronto alone, there are 14, 365 children on the waiting list for fee subsidy. Many parents do not even bother putting their children on the waiting list; they know it will take years before their children are enrolled in an affordable, high quality child care program. As such, the number of parents in need of affordable child care is likely even higher than the waiting lists demonstrate. 

Inaccessible child care is one of the leading contributors to the gender wage gap. The lack of affordable child care in Ontario predominantly effects single parent families, over 80% of which are female-led. It is an inexcusable fact that 32% of these single parent families are currently living in poverty. Affordable child care would allow single mothers and parents to pursue their educational and career goals, knowing their children are in a safe and enriching program.

    Furthermore, the exorbitant fees parents are paying for child care do not make it into the hands of hardworking early childhood educators. A quarter of registered early childhood educators do not earn a living wage. If parents are paying nearly $2000/ month for child care in Ontario, this should not be the case. It is time to take action. Ontario’s child care system needs:  
     
     
    Child Care Should be Affordable 
    • A geared to income sliding fee scale capped at $10/ day
    • Set limits on the amount child care centres (including for-profit centres) can charge parents
    • Increase operational funding for public and non-profit child care centres
     
    Child Care Should be Accessible
    • Increase the number of child care centres and spaces in under served wards/communities
    • Increase funding to centres to expand programming for parents who perform shift work/overnight hours/ etc.
    • Simplified access to subsidy enrollment that does not require travel and/or internet access
    • Use libraries/ community centres/ apartment buildings as spaces for Child Care Centres
     
    Child Care Should be Fair
    • Funding programs based on fair wages for Registered Early Childhood Educators
    • Everyone who works in a Child Care Centre should be paid a living wage
    • Increase funding to the child care sector at all levels of government
     
    Toronto cannot wait ten years for child care. We need affordable, accessible, high quality child care NOW!