Supporting a Universal Child Care Program
Affordable and high quality child care is essential for nonprofit workers
Because ONN believes in decent work for women, we are advocating on access to affordable and high quality child care.
Child care enables parents to work, especially 80 per cent of the nonprofit workforce who consists of women workers, is a critical source of employment for women in of itself, and nonprofit child care models are proven to provide higher quality of care because of their focus on decent work and investing profits into their missions.
Decent work and a nonprofit model are critical for high quality child care
Who owns and delivers child care services impacts decent work for the child care labour force which in turn is linked to quality of care through higher recruitment and retention of staff. Numerous studies and policy analyses conducted in Canada and other similar countries on quality of child care highlight that a nonprofit model delivers higher quality, more affordable, and more equitable child care in comparison to a for-profit model.
Low wages, coupled with a lack of health benefits, paid vacation, paid sick days, pension contributions, and little to no professional development create conditions for high staff turnover, low staff morale, increasing staff/child ratios, and group sizes. This is more likely to be the case in models that have to generate profit to distribute to shareholders, rather than in the nonprofit model which reinvests revenue back into an organization’s mission.
Recommendations to support Indigenous led, francophone, and anglophone child care
ONN is convening and listening to child care advocates to put forth recommendations that not only amplify their calls for universal child care, but also highlight the importance of child care for nonprofit workers and the high value of nonprofit child care models.
- Expand availability of nonprofit child care across Ontario as they offer higher quality of child care as well as better system stability and health and safety standards to support parental peace of mind and child care affordability.
- Reinstate the “for-profit maximum percentage threshold”in Ontario funding guidelines to protect nonprofit child care delivery as it caps the amount of public funding that for-profit child care can access.
- Continue the best elements of emergency child care by expanding access to flexible, affordable, 24-hour nonprofit child care for parents who need it, using the additional resources provided by the federal government’s Safe Restart Program with provinces/territories.
- Ensure that Indigenous led, francophone, and anglophone child care spaces are adequately funded to provide decent work to their staff, adapt to new pandemic requirements, and create spaces to support parents’ return to work — without increasing fees which are already some of the highest in Canada.
- Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), in collaboration with provinces, territories, and Indigenous peoples, should implement a universal child care program to ensure women have equal and sustained opportunity to participate in the labour force. High-quality and affordable childcare will not only make life easier for parents, including the women workers who make up 80 percent of the nonprofit labour force, but it would also improve the working conditions of those women that are the majority of workers in the nonprofit childcare sector.
Supporting and amplifying advocates’ calls for universal child care
ONN is supporting child care advocates by endorsing calls for universal child care.
This includes endorsing Child Care For All’s two-phase strategy for the federal government to support child care during the COVID-19 pandemic and to seize this opportunity to rebuild child care in Canada. The first phase calls for immediate funding for child care re-openings while the second a long-term plan to move Canada towards a fully publicly funded system in partnership with provinces/territories and Indigenous governments and communities.
Join us and the many other supporters across the country in endorsing child care for all and amplifying their plans.
Call to Action
- Use our recommendations and messaging on child care, both from a gender and nonprofit lens, in your policy and advocacy activities.
- Support and amplify Child Care for All’s universal child care plan and two-phase strategy for COVID-19 child care recovery and re-building by endorsing their plans.
- Share with us the importance of child care for nonprofit workers and value of nonprofit child care models.