QUEEN'S PARK — The NDP's critic on Early Learning and Childcare Bhutila Karpoche released this statement in response to a survey by the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care and the Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario showing child care workers at a breaking point due to neglect, overwork and poor pay, with close to 50 per cent considering leaving the sector at some point during the pandemic:
"Thank you to the OCBCC and AECEO for conducting this important survey. Child care workers look after our littlest ones and are vital to our society and economic functioning. This survey of close to 2,000 of these workers paints a bleak picture of a sector in crisis, with workers feeling stressed, overworked and unhappy.
They rightfully feel disrespected and ignored by the Ford government, who throughout this pandemic refused to give them pandemic pay or answer their pleas for better, safer working conditions. They have long been overworked and underpaid, and the result is a retention crisis that threatens to cause further instability to the sector province-wide, including further closures of centres and programs.
Ford must commit to signing a funding agreement with the federal government. He must invest in giving child care workers fair wages and better working conditions. Our child care workers, parents, and children deserve so much better.
Andrea Horwath and the NDP have committed to working with the federal government to implement a universal, public and non-profit $10-per-day child care plan."