The Child Care Fund has helped many CUPW members with their child care needs. It has put the union at the forefront of finding progressive solutions to help members and other workers balance work and family—something we can all be proud of. And it has made the union stronger by raising awareness of child care as a family issue, not just a women's issue.
Clearly, the union's initiatives in Newfoundland and elsewhere have had an enormous and positive impact on the community. But the fund can only do so much to solve the child care problems of workers. One thing our achievements with the Child Care Fund have shown us is how important it is for governments to view child care as a shared, collective responsibility.
Consider the following:
Governments must take the lead on child care. A government-funded, comprehensive child care program is vital to solving the child care crisis brought about by the lack of affordable, high-quality child care.
Yes, publicly funded child care is expensive, but economists have calculated that every dollar invested in high-quality child care reaps a two-dollar benefit to children, parents and society. Some people say we can't afford to fund child care, but CUPW believes we can't afford not to.