Without access to consistent, affordable and quality childcare, women and gender-diverse people struggle to find and maintain work, pursue educational opportunities and access support services. This limits their financial independence and ability to leave situations of violence.
That’s why, for over half a century, YWCA Canada and its member associations have been at the forefront of the movement to demand a universal childcare system as an essential pillar of gender equity. And to help make that system a reality, YWCAs have become the second-largest childcare provider across the country, providing high-quality, flexible and inclusive childcare to meet the needs of parents and children.
YWCAs celebrated the achievement of the gender justice, childcare and feminist movements in securing a commitment from the federal government’s commitment of $30 billion over five years for the creation of a national childcare system. This represented a historic investment in the kind of social infrastructure that helps end gender-based violence.
But the fight isn’t over yet. And we need your help.
Access to childcare continues to be severely limited and inequitable because there are too few spots to meet the demand. The main challenge is a shortage of early childhood educators and other childcare staff.
Childcare work—overwhelmingly performed by women—has been and continues to be hugely undervalued. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that a strong childcare system is essential to our economy and the overall functioning of society. Yet the workers at the heart of this system are struggling due to low wages and difficult working conditions. This impacts their mental health, and leads to difficulty recruiting and retaining workers.
There can be no universal system of childcare without a well-compensated and well-supported workforce. Governments across Canada must take urgent action to improve the working conditions and wages of early childhood educators and childcare workers. Governments must also ensure that access to high-quality childcare across Canada is universal and that childcare programs are inclusive of all children.
Support the Child Care Now National Day of Action
Today is the national day of action for child care led by Child Care Now. We need your support to create a universal childcare system that works for all of us. Call on elected officials to take action for better pay, better quality and better access by signing this petition and attending an event in your community.