Action Day Care


Action Day Care was founded in 1979 as an organization of parents, teachers, day care workers, representatives from community organizations, women’s organizations, and trade unions. It believed that every child had the right to quality day care – paid for by the government – and that day care must become a universal service – although not compulsory – under provincial responsibility.

Action Day Care members initially united to fight cutbacks but then began to demand that day care become a universal service, like the school system (although not compulsory).  In 1980, Action Day Care identified that Ontario needed 275,000 full and part-time day care spaces, paid for by the province. It also argued that day care should be a provincial responsibility rather than a municipal one, since municipalities can’t afford it. It should be community centred, and it should be a right for the many, not a welfare program doled out to the few who can prove “need”.

Action Day Care started out organizing  in Ontario and the local municipalities. By the end of the 1980’s, it had expanded its mandate into the federal arena. It developed a platform that stated that the following:
1. The Ontario Government must acknowledge the right of every child in Ontario to quality accessible day care and commit itself to provide and pay for that care within ten years. This means an expansion of approximately 16,000 spaces per year. The current ratio of group to home day care spaces should be maintained; and
2.  In order to meet this goal, Ontario will need over 300 new day care centres per year. Even with the use of existing facilities or the transformation of school premises freed up by declining enrolment, the Ontario government will have to provide a large amount of capital funding to build new spaces.

Action Day Care actively responded to government policy initiatives, budgets, throne speeches, reports, and task forces. It also worked with its members to make day care an election issue during municipal and provincial elections. For most of the 80s, it was able to secure employment-initiative funding from the federal government, as well as conduct its own fundraising, which included the popular “Annual Run for Day Care”.

By the end of the 1980’s, Action Day Care had merged into the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care and the Canadian Day Care Advocacy Association.

Action Day Care Documents

Title Date Region
Action Day Care Direct Grant Petition -- Ontario
Action Day Care Fundraising Letter (1979) 1979 National (all of Canada)
Cutbacks: Who is Next? (1980) 1980 Ontario
Day Care Crisis! -- Ontario
Day Care Hotline 1984 Ontario
Day Care in Canada Facts -- National (all of Canada)
For Universally Accessible Publicly Funded Non-Compulsory Day Care in Canada -- National (all of Canada)
Organization: Fundraising letter -- Ontario
Pamphlet: Action Day Day – An Introduction -- Ontario
Policy (1982): The Day Care Kit 1982 National (all of Canada)
Summary of Action Daycare Position -- National (all of Canada)
Volunteer for Daycare -- Ontario
What is the Direct Grant? -- Ontario
Why We Want Good Child Care -- National (all of Canada)