Liberals out of touch with working families

For many working parents, the holiday season is a difficult time. While children are off from school, they still have to work.
The result? This year, children needed child care and too many parents couldn’t provide it.
And if parents were lucky enough to have child care lined up, they still would have the addition of a significant cost to their holiday expenses.
Child care is an important issue for working families. Affordable child care is important so that working women and men can earn enough money to support their families.
It’s important so that women have the same access to work opportunities. It’s important so that parents can leave the house and be assured their children are adequately cared for.
It’s important for children who deserve high-quality early childhood education so they can get a good start to prepare themselves for their futures.
Regrettably, the McGuinty Liberals are out of touch with the needs of working families. Despite his promises, Dalton McGuinty has failed to provide adequate funding for child care in this province.
During the 2003 provincial election, he promised to provide $300 million in new provincial dollars to create 25,000 child care spaces. But instead of providing this funding, instead of making this investment, the McGuinty government relied on temporary funding provided by the federal government in 2004.
When this funding was cancelled, so was Ontario’s commitment to funding new child care spaces. In fact, the McGuinty Liberals haven’t invested a single penny of new provincial dollars in child care.
Working families know providing child care is an important responsibility. It is a family responsibility. It also is a provincial responsibility.
Other provinces have moved forward, and provided their own funding and created adequate provincial funding formulas. The McGuinty government has not.
Like for so many programs, it passed the buck. Rather than working towards a child care solution, our provincial government played the blame game and pointed fingers at the federal government yet again.
The McGuinty Liberals promised the money, they promised to create child care spaces, and, as they have done so often, they have broken that promise and blamed it on someone else.
Right now in Ontario, there are too few child care spaces. Even if parents have access to child care, the high cost puts spaces out of reach for working families.
Some non-profit providers maintain subsidize spots for low-income parents, but there’s still a massive need.
The NDP recognizes that child care is a crucial part of the education process. We recognize that access to child care is a fundamental issue of economic fairness.
And we recognize that numerous working families have to make a huge financial sacrifice so their children get the care they need.
Working parents need the government’s support. We need to ensure that non-profit childcare providers have adequate funding to provide spaces for children who need them.
We need to subsidize spaces so low-income and working Ontarians can afford them. And we need to provide adequate funding to ensure child care workers receive a fair day’s wage for a hard day’s work.
The NDP knows child care is of huge importance for Ontarians. We know that finding and paying for child care is a constant source of worry for everyday families.
While the McGuinty Liberals have broken their promises on child care, the NDP will continue to fight for better child care for everyone.

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