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Peterborough city council must defend quality child care

The City of Peterborough’s plan to close its child care centres is a move that targets children, families and eliminates good jobs that are predominantly held by women, according to Trish Bucholz, a front-line child care worker and president of CUPE 126 which represents child care workers for the City of Peterborough.

“Municipal child care centres are a bright spot in an industry where the workforce is predominantly women and most employers pay minimum wage,” Bucholz said. Parents choose to enroll their kids at city-run centres because they know they are getting the best quality care for their children from dedicated staff.”

The report recommending the closure of Pearson Child Care Centre, Peterborough Child Care Centre, and two before and after school programs will be received by the Committee of the Whole on Monday, September 9, and voted on by Council on September 23.

“Many of these women have provided care for Peterborough children over the past 20 years. Eliminating these good jobs should be seen as nothing less than an attack on women, families and our community,” Bucholz added.

The city is citing recent provincial funding cuts to municipalities from the Ford government as the reason for considering closing two child care centres and after school programs, a move that will impact close to 300 child care spaces and cost 30 jobs.

“The Ford Conservative cuts are devastating communities all across Ontario, many of them impacting the youngest Ontarians,” said Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario. “He’s gone after children with autism, students in our schools, and now we are seeing cuts to high-quality, municipal child care. The Conservatives are continuing their cuts to vital municipal public services like child care, public health, and ambulance services all so they can continue giving tax breaks to their rich friends. But we know that the people of Peterborough will not accept these cuts. They are counting on city council to make the right decision and stand with Peterborough families and the women who provide top-quality child care.”

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