I recently had a conversation with parents who are hoping to access licensed child care for their two young children. In order to pay rent, meet all of their bills, and remain employed, this family will most likely have to compromise on child care choices at a time when there should be no compromise. During this chat, I was once again struck by the major dilemma facing so many families in Ontario: child care is beyond their reach.
Building a child care system relies on commitments from all three levels of government. The current federal and provincial governments have already made the commitment to continue to build a system that will expand and enhance the accessibility option for families. During the past five years, the early learning sector has seen improved legislation, funding and expansion, yet this is still not enough to solve the child care dilemma for all families.
Recently, the Ontario government commissioned Dr. Gordon Cleveland to write a report on child care affordability, which I would encourage you to read: https://bit.ly/2vU25Xs
The issues of accessibility and affordability in quality early learning environments are a cornerstone of the upcoming provincial election on June 7. I urge you to ask your candidates what their party will do to continue to build a system that expands and improves accessibility for children into a licensed child care system — one where parents feel their children are safe and are receiving learning opportunities that encourage development.
If you are reading this column, chances are you have already accessed the licensed child care system. Yet many of you have likely been up against uncertainty, waiting times, and compromises to have your children here.
What can we all do to ensure more families have access to affordable, accessible child care? Think about that when you go to vote in June.