Media Release April 24th, 2006: “Parent Group Say Government Must Cut Funding to Daycare Lobby Now”

PARENT GROUP SAYS GOVERNMENT MUST CUT FUNDING TO DAYCARE LOBBY NOW

Kids First Parent Association of Canada
604-291-0088

Parents’ groups are asking the government to commit to quickly terminating public funding for daycare lobby groups.

Helen Ward, President of Kids First Parent Association of Canada, says public funds are being used to fund the daycare lobby. “Code Blue for Child Care” is one lobby campaign launched by the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada. Information released from the government to Kids First says that the CCAAC received $364,777 while the Child Care Federation received $1,429,591 over an unstated period.

The Child Care Resource and Research Unit is fully funded by HRDC with in-kind support from the University of Toronto. So-called research includes papers critical of “the ideology of the family,” “conservative family values,” and “liberal ideology.” Its stated purpose is “advancing” a universal daycare system according to its website. The word “advancing” was recently removed.

“This funding amounts to a political sponsorship scandal. There needs to be an immediate freeze of these groups’ assets and an Auditor General’s audit. Whatever your position on daycare is, it is clear that tax dollars are not supposed to be spent on lobbying. Millions of pubic dollars are paying for this undemocratic facade of grassroots activism, for petitions, form letters, post cards, offices, lobbyists’ salaries, computers.

“Parents don’t see themselves as a special interest. Groups like ours cannot lobby on a level playing field, even though we represent the majority view that parents should not be punished for not using daycare. We are 100 percent volunteer run and not funded by government, corporations, unions, or religious organizations,” said Ward.

The last federal budget provided an additional $100 million to daycare related researchers. Kids First website http://www.kidsfirstcanada.org lists daycare-lobby groups receiving government funding including the Child Care Federation of Canada, the Childcare Resource and Research Unit, the Caledon Institute, Campaign 2000, and the Canadian Policy Research Network.

The list of corporate and union backing includes the Royal Bank of Canada, the World Bank, RAND Corporation, The Economist magazine, United Steel Workers of America, Canadian Labour Federation, Public Service Alliance, Canadian Auto Workers, and CUPE.

“The CCAAC was actually founded by the federal government in 1983. They say their goal is a no-fee daycare system like the public schools, and they want it for ages 0-12: that could cost $100 billion yearly. We are seeing millions going to bureaucrats, academics and lobbyists while the vast majority of families are marginalized and forced to pay the tax-bill. The government must stop punishing parents for caring for their own children,” says Ward.

Kids First and others are calling on Harper to defend parents’ and children’s Charter rights to equality before the law and cease preferential treatment of any child care form.

NOTES

  1. Federal budget provided $100 million to lobby-researchers: “The Government of Canada commits…$100 million for the development of a new accountability package that will support improved research and the development of common evidence-based indicators and benchmarks.”

    http://www.fin.gc.ca/budget05/bp/early

  2. The Childcare Resource and Research Unit at the University of Toronto is HQ for the daycare lobby in Canada. It is funded by Social Development Canada. “CRRU receives funding from Social Development Partnerships, Social Development Canada, for which we are most appreciative. The University of Toronto provides continuous in-kind support.”

    Their massive website states that daycare “advocacy” and “advancing” daycare is its core purpose: “The Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU) focuses on research and policy resources, advancing a universal, high quality, publicly-funded, not-for-profit, inclusive system of early childhood education and care in Canada.”

    Note: This statement has been recently altered to eliminate “advancing”.

    http://www.childcarecanada.org/about/

  3. Funding from government to groups lobbying for daycare:



  4. Union and Corporate sector lobbying for preferential funding for daycare:

    Unions: some are listed as CCAAC funders at http://www.childcareadvocacy.ca/resources/pdf/ccaac_annualreport05.pdf p5

    • National Union of Public and General Employees
    • Communications, Energy, and Paperworkers Union of Canada
    • Public Service Alliance of Canada
    • CFL
    • CAW
    • United Steelworkers of America
    • CUPE
    • BCGEU
    • OFC
    • Canadian Union of Postal Workers

    Corporate:



  5. CCAAC established by the Federal government:

  6. Free daycare goal: “CCAAC’s goal is that eventually child care as an educational program would have no parent fee as does the public school system.” This goal is buried in footnote-like note at bottom of final page of “From Patchwork to Framework: Highlights of a Child Care Strategy for Canada” 2004 (a very influential document)

    http://www.childcareadvocacy.ca/resources/pdf/framework_highlights.pdf