Rethinking Child Care - Windsor Kitchen Table Conversations

July 11, 2013, 11:15 AM EST


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Workers in Windsor came together on June 6 to discuss the ill effects of Canada's inadequate child care system on struggling working class families.

CAW members representing locals 444, 200 and 240 took part in a "kitchen table conversation," sharing experiences juggling work that is increasingly precarious along with family responsibilities. This event was part of a national campaign to 'rethink' child care in Canada.

"For most workers in Canada, the child care model simply isn't working," said CAW Local 200 member Tracey Ramsey who also helped coordinate the event.

Parents in Windsor have been hit hard by a number of city-run daycare closures, as well as the recent closure of the CAW's own childcare facility, Ramsey said.

"Without access to affordable and safe child care options, families are worse for wear. Many simply can't afford the extraordinary cost of daycare and a lot of parents have had to sacrifice their jobs as a result," said Ramsey.

This event was part of a national campaign being spearheaded by labour unions (including the CAW) and allies under the banner Rethink Child Care.  The campaign aims to raise public awareness on the need for major child care reforms in Canada, in the hopes of making it a key federal election issue in 2015.

Communities across the country are encouraged to run kitchen table conversations as the first phase in this multi-faceted campaign, said CAW Women's Program Director Julie White.

"It's important that we start these conversations in our homes, our neighbourhoods and in our communities," White said. "Canadians have to realize that lack of access to quality, affordable child care is the product of poor political decisions. We can demand better, if we start to speak out."

Many participants at the Windsor event criticized the Harper government's decision to pull the plug on a national child care strategy - Harper's first act as Prime Minister. In place of a national child care program the government opted to subsidize families $100 per month for child care expenses - an ineffective, wasteful program that does nothing to improve access to childcare, White said.

CAW members are encouraged to hold a kitchen table conversation of their own. Hosting guides and other useful information are available at www.rethinkchildcare.ca 

For more information contact Julie White at julie.white@caw.ca

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