The Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada (CCAAC), founded as the Canadian Day Care Advocacy Association, is a non-profit organization committed to winning universally accessible, high quality, not-for-profit child care in Canada.
It was founded following the 2nd Canadian Conference on Day Care held in Winnipeg in 1982. The 900+ delegates from all provinces and territories called for an effective united voice to pursue day care issues at the federal level and to promote a broad consensus of support within all regions of Canada. As a result of this conference, the Canadian Day Care Advocacy Association was born in 1983. Elected representatives from each province and territory began the work of advocating for the establishment of a universally-accessible, non-profit publicly-funded child care system.
The CCAAC was primarily supported financially with seed funding by the Women’s Program, Status of Women Canada as well as by federal government programs called Child Care Visions (CCV) and Social Development Partnerships Program (SDPP). It also received considerable support from the labour movement, CUPE in particular. Following the 2006 federal election, the CCAAC was defunded when the federal government removed ‘advocacy’, ‘equity’ and ‘access to justice’ from Status of Women Canada’s (SWC) mandate as well as defunding its other child care funding activities.
The primary goal of the CCAC is to work toward expanding the child care system and to improve its quality. It advocates for the development of an affordable, comprehensive, high quality not-for-profit child care system that is supported by public funds and accessible to every Canadian family who wishes to use it.
The CCAAC has a broad base of support and represents parents, day care providers, day care staff, women’s organizations, health and social service organizations and unions and other social justice groups. It has a national office with a small staff and a cross-sectoral volunteer board governs the organization.
Since its founding in1983, although the CCAAC has consistently continued to fight for a national child care program, there is still a long way to go to ensure that children have access to a comprehensive child care system. The CCAAC’s accomplishments include:
• With the backing of thousands of child care activists, it proposed a Child Care Financing Act to the federal government and led a cross-Canada campaign for the implementation of new financing.
• Conducted a cost-benefit analysis of child care.
• Submitting major briefs to federal commissions and task forces, such as the Task Force on Child Care (“Katie Cooke”), the Special Committee on Child Care, the Special Joint Committee on the Constitutional Accord and many others. .
• Organized major petitions, postcard and other campaigns, as well as demonstrations and lobbies of MPs.
• Sustained regular education activities aimed at of all three major federal parties.
• Engaged in widespread public education including research and publication of briefs, background papers, fact sheets, information kits on child care issues;
• Produced the bilingual newsletter “Vision” for some years;
• Provided resources and materials to advocates, researchers, and media across the country;
• Provided leadership across the country during federal election campaigns, developing slogans, leaflets, kits, questions to MPs, and ensuring that child care was firmly placed on the election agendas;
• Co-sponsoried the 4th National Policy Child Care Conference in 2014, as well as subsequent advocacy work up to and following the 2015 federal election.