Stevens deeply concerned about news that YMCA-licensed school age child care centres will not re-open until later in September
Late opening child care options will disproportionately affect women in Niagara
A Message from the Constituency Office of St Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens
Posted August 31st, 2020 on Niagara At Large
St. Catharines, Ontario – NDP MPP Jennie Stevens (St. Catharines) is deeply concerned about news that YMCA-licensed school age child care centres will not re-open until later in September, with a staggered return to full operations, and is urging the Ford government to support parents who can’t return to work.
“Parents depend on child care centres to look after their kids before and after school. As schools are set to re-open in Niagara in September it’s essential for parents, including teachers themselves, returning to work to know that there’s care available out of school hours so they can go back to their jobs,” said Stevens.
“Child care centres have been given the run around by the Ford government, with guidelines only issued in the last couple of weeks giving them no time to prepare for a safe re-opening of their operations. This delay will leave parents who need to return to their jobs full-time in an impossible position scrambling to find alternative child care with few options available.”
Niagara’s economic recovery depends on getting more parents, particularly women with school-age children, back in their jobs and back to earning an income again. Stevens says the economic crisis has already disproportionately impacted women, but without child care options many will have no choice but to delay their plans to return to work.
“As the only woman at the provincial level of political office in Niagara, it is clear to me that Ford and his education minister don’t seem to understand that without a safe and secure child care, including before and after school care, going back to work isn’t possible. They just haven’t done their homework and it’s parents, particularly women, who will suffer.”
The NDP’s back-to-school plan includes ensuring that parents have the child care options and extra income supports they need to stay home, if they need to.
“Doug Ford and Minister Lecce need to work with the Niagara child care partners to get their centres opened alongside schools re-opening, and Ford needs to step up by expanding child care options for school-age kids and giving parents who can’t return to work full-time the support they need to pay the bills until it’s fully available again.”
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