NDP MPP Teresa Armstrong brings forward legislation for childcare worker task force

QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Teresa Armstrong (London Fanshawe) will debate legislation to create a task force dedicated to supporting child care workers and addressing the recruitment and retention crisis.

“When early child care workers are supported, parents and their children who rely on them are supported as well,” said Armstrong. “This task force would give child care workers a voice at the table to make the changes we need to ensure affordable child care is accessible in Ontario. The cost of living is rising by the day, and we need affordable child care now more than ever.”

Armstrong’s legislation would create an advisory committee solely dedicated to supporting workers in the child care sector. CUPE has said that Ontario needs 65,000 new childcare workers to meet the expected demand for $10 a day child care.

“Ontario is nowhere near where we need to be to meet the demand we’re facing for accessible and affordable childcare, and Ford isn’t taking this crisis seriously,” said Armstrong. “Families deserve to know they will have accessible childcare, and childcare centres deserve to know how they’ll keep the lights on.

“This committee is an important step in supporting a childcare system that works for families. I call on all parties to immediately pass this bill so this committee can get to work”.

Armstrong’s Bill 191: Childcare and Early Years Workforce Strategy Advisory Committee Act, 2024 will be debated May 28th at approximately 6 p.m.

Quotes

Donna Spreitzer, Toronto Community for Better Child Care (TCBCC)

“The TCBCC fully supports Bill 191: Childcare and Early Years Workforce Strategy Advisory Committee Act. This is an important first step in elevating the child care workforce and it is long overdue…the current system is in peril due to financial barriers impacting the hiring and retention of this vital workforce…wages and benefits for child care workers in Ontario are among the lowest in Canada, despite the cost of living being amongst the greatest”

Nas Yadollahi -- President, CUPE Local 79

“Many childcare workers in our centres are new or first-generation immigrants. Many of them are women. Most of them are underpaid and overworked. I would like to re-iterate my strong support for this Bill. Establishing an advisory committee which includes workers, organized labour and equity-deserving groups to focus on wages, recruitment, organizing more workers, and immigration, is sorely needed in Ontario.”

Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care

“We are pleased to see Bill 191: Childcare and Early Years Workforce Strategy Advisory Committee Act, 2024 reach second reading and be debated. ECEs’ and child care workers’ voices must be central to the development of a workforce strategy. We must ensure that we put decent work at the heart of the new Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system; a Childcare and Early Years Workforce Strategy Advisory Committee will help make that happen.”

Bhutila Karpoche, MPP for Parkdale—High Park

“Families deserve reliable, affordable, and accessible child care, they deserve certainty that their daycare won’t be forced to close its doors. However, the child care system cannot and will not work without child care workers. That is why is essential that we pass this bill, and create a child care workforce strategy.”

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