The following is a joint letter by Linda Silas, CFNU President, and Morna Ballantyne, Executive Director of Child Care Now sent on March 18, 2020 to the premiers of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Subject: Emergency Child Care Measures for Frontline COVID-19 Workers
The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions and Child Care Now write to urge your government to support health care workers and their families as they work on the front lines of the unfolding global coronavirus pandemic.
In these uncertain times, providing health care workers with child care options is one concrete way in which your government can support them as they endeavour to protect the Canadian public.
We call on your government to put in place emergency child care measures that would allow workers in health care environments to make arrangements to balance their professional and family duties in a sustainable way.
This week, Quebec’s provincial government began operating 400 centres across the province for working parents who provide essential services, such as nurses, physicians and public safety officers. With Health Minister Mathieu Lacombe’s recent announcement, the province made available free services for these families – including child care and babysitting services in a home environment – recognizing the vital nature of the jobs these workers are performing during this extraordinary time of crisis.
We request that your government follow suit immediately and help facilitate child care for workers whose skills and services our country so desperately needs at this time, and we ask that these emergency arrangements be extended to all working parents whose jobs don’t provide them with the option to work from home.
Across our country, people are looking to you for decisive and effective action to keep the public and our economy healthy. Your government can step in to ensure that working parents have the critical supports they need to weather the unprecedented challenges we face as a nation. We are calling on you to help them as they work to protect us all on the front lines of COVID-19.
Linda Silas, President
Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions
Morna Ballantyne, Executive Director
Child Care Now