Charlottetown – On this International Women’s Day, CUPE PEI is calling on the federal government to commit to financing and to working with the provinces and territories to establish a truly accessible child care system for all families.
“The lack of affordable, quality child care is one of the continuing barriers to women’s equality,” said Karen Tsistinas, member of CUPE’s National Child Care Working Group and CUPE PEI Executive board member. “The majority of women with young children work outside the home, but government policy and funding for child care hasn’t kept pace with that reality.”
“We need safe, flexible child care services at a cost that families can afford,” insisted Tsistinas. “Many Island women rely on relatives, friends or neighbours to look after their children. But not everyone has those social supports. In urban areas especially, the cost of child care can be out of reach.”
“CUPE PEI has been working with labour movement and community partners to build an Island child care coalition. We have heard from Islanders about their struggles to find, juggle and pay for quality child care. Their stories are similar to ones shared by Canadians across the country during kitchen table discussions for the Rethink Child Care campaign (see www.rethinkchildcare.ca ).”
“Everyone benefits when parents can go to work or school knowing that their children are safe and well cared for. Women have more choices when it comes to employment, education and training. They are better able to balance work and family responsibilities. Children thrive when they have a safe place to learn, grow and play.”
“Investment in child care also makes good economic sense“ concluded Tsistinas. “Expansion of child care creates more jobs for women and boosts female labour force participation in other sectors. Higher employment generates increased tax revenues and lower spending on social assistance and other social programs.Studies have shown that public spending on child care more than pays for itself. One of Canada’s top economists found that for every dollar the Quebec government spent on its $7-per-day child care program, it gained $1.05 and the federal government gained an additional $0.44.”