WATERLOO REGION — NDP MPPs Laura Mae Lindo (Kitchener Centre) and Catherine Fife (Waterloo) have sent an open letter to the Minister of Education urging him to listen to the concerns of parents and providers who are deeply concerned about the inadequate time child care providers have been given to prepare plans to keep kids safe.
“My office has been inundated with calls from anxious parents who need to know there is a plan that allows time, and support, for the child care centres to prepare and for the staff to be ready. As a parent to three young children, I know that parenting during a pandemic is already stressful as families have to juggle their responsibilities in a time of uncertainty,” said Lindo.
“The safety of our children must be the priority above anything else, but parents are telling me they do not have confidence in the plan put forward by the Ford government.”
In the letter, Lindo and Fife outline four immediate requests to the Minister to ensure that child care centres can re-open safely, and stay open:
- Provide new stabilization funding for childcare to cover parent fees for childcare spaces that must remain closed during the phased re-opening
- Confirm details of the announced support to cover extra operating costs for staff who will have lower ratios, be required to clean and prep more, monitor health and safety protocols, and increase communication with families. Confirm that this will be new money that will not come from existing funding for childcare providers
- Guarantee that no essential workers currently receiving emergency child care will lose child care provision when the emergency childcare program ends
- Work with federal counterparts to ensure childcare centres can continue to receive the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) during the phased re-opening