What is CUPW’s Child Care Fund for and how can it work for you? Find the answers to members’ most common questions about the fund here.
In 1995, CUPW negotiated the right to control and administer a $2-million Child Care Fund. The Fund helps members who have the most difficulty finding and affording good child care:
Negotiations for cost-of-living increases will ensure that the Fund's projects remain available to the members and continue to grow.
By 2010, Canada Post was making quarterly deposits of $324,000 into the Fund. Today, the Fund is $2.5 million dollars.
The Fund is used for projects that provide child care services to postal workers. It also funds child care information programs, needs-assessments and research.
The union has ten Child Care Fund projects across Canada and Québec. All of them are community-based and non-profit, and they all accommodate children with special needs. Each project provides at least one of the following services:
The Child Care Fund has helped some CUPW families find affordable, high-quality child care. But the truth is that we would need a fund fifty times the size of the one we currently have to meet the diverse child care needs of all our members.
Setting up work-related child care services is only part of the solution to our child care problems. What we really need is a national child care system like those in other industrialized countries.
High-quality child care should not be a privilege for children of wealthy parents, nor a welfare measure for the children of low-income parents. It should be available and affordable to everyone. Unions fought for many of the social programs we value today, and they have a role to play in ensuring that we have programs like child care in the future.
One of the best ways we can do this is by working with groups that are fighting for a child care system that meets the needs of all parents. Groups like the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada have been advocating for a national child care system for more than thirty years. Their goal is to push for a universal, inclusive, comprehensive, high-quality and community-based child care system that is accessible and provides early learning and development opportunities for ALL children.
The union remains committed to fighting for a national child care program by working with local, provincial and national child care advocacy groups.
There's no question that we as a society are facing a serious child care crisis. For example, only 24% of preschool children currently have access to regulated child care in Canada. This means that over 75% of our children are in unlicensed, unregulated child care where there is little if any oversight.
There is simply not enough high-quality, affordable child care. Only a national child care policy or specific national legislation on child care, coupled with a large infusion of government funding, can solve this crisis.
There are several reasons that your union should be involved in child care:
This wouldn't be effective for a number of reasons:
No. Members are always free to make their own arrangements to meet their child care needs. But there simply aren't enough high-quality child care services to go around. The union is trying to increase parental choice through the Child Care Fund.
The union feels it has a responsibility to both support high-quality child care services and to help members gain access to and afford those services. The Child Care Fund ties these two obligations together. It supports the creation or expansion of high-quality child care services in the community through the projects it funds, and provides subsidies for project services.
No. The union is not making judgments about individuals' child care arrangements. Research on child development has found that regulated, non-profit child care services tend to be high-quality for the following reasons:
We often support issues that might not directly affect us, or might only affect us occasionally or during a specific period in our lives, because they have a broader positive social impact (for example, publicly funded education, health care and pensions). Supporting high-quality child care is no exception: