Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (formerly Ontario Coalition for Better Day Care)


In the spring of 1981, groups concerned about child care (teachers, social service workers, unions, women’s groups, child care educators, students, and parents) started meeting to plan a strategy for getting more government funding and action for day care. The Ontario Federation of Labour (in collaboration with Action Day Care) initiated a series of public forums on day care issues across Ontario. This provided the impetus for the formation of an ongoing coalition, and shortly after this, the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care was formed in 1982.

Initially, the Coalition comprised 17 member organizations and had a Steering Committee made up of representatives from the Ontario Federation of Labour, the Ontario Teachers Federation, Action Daycare, the Ontario Social Development Council and the Association of Early Childhood Educators, Ontario.  (The AECEO subsequently left the Coalition as a result of political and policy differences. It rejoined in the early 2000s, and is today again a Coalition member.)

The preliminary objectives of the Coalition were the following:

  • To promote more and better daycare;
  • To increase public awareness of daycare needs in Ontario;
  • To prepare a brief to the Ontario Cabinet based on the public hearings and findings;
  • To organize a lobby of MPPs at Queen’s Park;
  • To coordinate the activities of local coalitions.

Early Actions:

  • Presented Brief to Premier Davis: Daycare Deadline 1990;
  • Created a newsletter;
  • Assisted in the formation of local coalitions across the province;
  • Responded to the 1982 budget allocations;
  • Participated in national daycare conference in Winnipeg in September 1982;
  • Organized province-wide annual conferences;
  • Produced a quarterly newsletter: Child Care Challenge;
  • Held annual conferences and lobbies of MPPs.

The Coalition was funded by the Secretary of State Women’s Program, the Trillium Foundation, and other fundraising activities. But, in 2006, the OCBCC was defunded when the federal government removed ‘advocacy’, ‘equity’ and ‘access to justice’ from Status of Women Canada’s (SWC) mandate as well as child care activities. This curtailed the activities of the Coalition, but after new fundraising attempts, the Coalition was still going strong as of 2016.