The CCAAC had the pleasure of sitting together with child care advocates and ECE leaders from across the country as part of the 2016 Ontario conference, Shaping Our Future: Innovation, Leadership, and Advocacy in Early Learning and Child Care.
During the Leadership and Advocacy Panel, Louis Senécal, President and CEO of the Quebec Association of Early Childhood Centres (AQCPE), reported on the current child care situation in Quebec and the AQCPE’s extensive mobilization campaign to reverse the cuts of the government for 2016-2017. As part of this campaign, the AQCPE recently announced the creation of an independent commission to investigate the current child care situation. The Commission will tour the province, hold public hearings and present their findings. This is a terrific initiative!
Susan Prentice, Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, and member of the Manitoba Child Care Coalition, said that advocates in that province will be pushing the recently elected provincial Conservatives to pay careful attention to the recommendations of the provincial ECEC Commission report released in January 2016.
BC child care activist Susan Gregson provided conference attendees with an update on the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC’s $10/a day campaign and how important the provincial election in only 8 months time will be for determining the future of child care in that province. The campaign has reached 10,738 petition signatures with a goal of 15,000. If you haven’t already signed the petition, you can still add your voice to the thousands of British Columbians calling on government to adopt and implement the Plan!
The conference commenced with a special address by guest Indira Naidoo-Harris, Ontario’s Associate Minister of Education (Early Years and Child Care). Her address positioned the Ontario’s government’s recent commitment of 100,000 new child care spaces as part of a long term commitment to build an early learning child care system and to “get it right”. The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care’s Public Policy Coordinator, Carolyn Ferns, is urging the Ontario government for its plan to address affordability for parents and decent work for educators and to direct new funding to the public and non-profit sectors.
News from New Brunswick
The New Brunswick Child Care Review Task Force has issued its final report with recommendations for achieving a “high-quality, affordable, accessible and inclusive early learning and childcare system for families […] by moving toward a system that is publicly managed and supported by incrementally greater public investment over time.”