Wherever you looked, child care issues were in the air at CUPE’s 50th anniversary convention in Quebec City last month. Passions and anxieties were on full display among many of the 3,000 people attending what was our biggest convention ever. From coffee breaks to convention floor resolutions, members from across the country discussed, debated and learned from each other as they shared their growing frustrations at finding affordable, regulated child care in the age of Harper government cutbacks.
No time was lost bringing the issues up. On the first day, the child care sector meeting drew over 50 people. Many in the room, coming from parts of the country where daycare fees sometimes exceed mortgage payments, could only react with envy as they learned about Quebec’s $7 a day child care system. On Tuesday morning, the kitchen table discussion drew over 40 participants, all eager to share their stories and support each other. Meanwhile, the child care booth in the CUPE village was one of the busiest, attracting a steady flow of visitors throughout the week.
Throughout the week, we heard from families having to choose to have fewer children because of the lack of daycare spaces. We heard from working parents needing to choose between a parent keeping a job or staying home to care for their child. We learned that graduate students are postponing starting families because of the combined high costs of tuition and day care. By going to the Rethink Child Care Youtube link you can hear our members share these and other stories.
There are still many stories out there waiting to be told. If you have one of your own to share we would like to hear it. It’s quite simple to do. Go to the Rethink Child Care website page Tell Your Story and you can write your story in the form we set up there. Or you can record a short video using the simple step-by-step instructions, send it in and we’ll upload it to the Rethink Youtube link.