Child Care: A Collective Responsibility

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Thursday September 29 2016

"I think it's great. Our union is progressive. Treating people like human beings is important. A worker is not a machine. We are people." - Marcel St. Louis, clerk

We now know that the first five years of life set the stage for children's lifelong emotional, intellectual, physical and social development, and affect the health and wealth of our society today and tomorrow. So isn’t it critical that we all take responsibility for making sure our children get the best care and education possible in their early years?

CUPW thinks it is. Our long struggle to get the Child Care Fund in place is a good example of how reluctant most employers are to do something to help parents balance work and family. And most governments still treat the early years as the least—instead of the most—important period of development. But we’ve shown that progress can be made when workers stick together and demand that child care be treated as a priority.

For CUPW, child care is a collective responsibility and an important equity issue.

It’s not fair to expect parents to deal on their own with finding and paying for high-quality early childhood care and education, especially given the social and economic pressures working families are under today. Moreover, high-quality child care does not just benefit parents and children: society also gains.

When they have high-quality child care that meets their needs, parents can work with peace of mind, enjoy family life and provide their children with a good start. Women in particular need good, dependable child care so that they can enter into and remain in the workforce, and participate fully in family life and in their union.