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Care about Toronto’s children and seniors?
So do we.
More than 1,200 of us help give our littlest neighbours a safe place to grow.

We teach. We nourish. We provide world-leading care while Toronto’s parents are at work. Our city-run daycares help set the standards and build the curricula used by childcare centres across the entire sector. The skills and experience our members bring to their work range from early childhood education to culinary arts, but we all share a dedication to supporting our city’s families.

Torontonians come from 188 different countries and speak more than 140 different languages city-run childcare centres and schools are often the first institutions newcomers encounter, and CUPE Local 79 members become some of our city’s first ambassadors.

Did you know?
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Toronto Early Learning & Child Care Services (TELCCS) operates 45 centres across the city.

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We help families discover and access licensed child care, before and after-school care, and EarlyON Child and Family Centres.

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17,000 households are currently waiting for childcare subsidies.

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Our members provide dedicated support for children with special needs enrolled in licensed child care centres.

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We work with our communities to develop child care programs tailored to their unique priorities and demographics.

The Right Person
Early Childhood Educator
“We provide a service for parents so when they go to work or back to school, they feel a peace of mind knowing that their child is in a healthy environment. This is the child’s safe space, where they can play and explore in the early years of their development. We observe how they learn, then implement that into the program to make sure that the needs of each child’s level of development are being met.”

In addition to the programming and care our city-run daycare staff provide, members prepare thousands of nutritious, allergy-friendly meals. For example, at Jesse Ketchum Early Learning and Childhood Care Centre, a daycare with more than 160 kids, each of our members working in the kitchen prepares 80 lunches and 240 healthy snacks every day. For families facing food insecurity, these meals are critical to providing the nutrition that growing kids need.

What makes a great Children’s Services worker? Patience. Compassion. And the understanding that every child’s needs are unique.

Elder care

When our neighbours can no longer take care of themselves, more than 3,600 of us are there to help.

We care for Torontonians living in 10 city-run long-term care homes ⁠— like the 456 permanent residents of Castleview Wychwood Towers. Some are at the end of their lives, others suffer from chronic, debilitating illnesses. Many are unable to move or even communicate. All are there because they have nowhere else to go – often without family or resources for private care.

Our members are responsible for more than just their physical health, but their mental wellbeing. Adjusting to a new life can be profoundly difficult. But we’re dedicated to making care homes feel like home.

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We also visit seniors and disabled Torontonians every day so they can access care and retain their independence. In 2018, members of CUPE Local 79…

We also visit seniors and disabled Torontonians every day so they can access care and retain their independence. In 2018, members of CUPE Local 79…

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Delivered more than 150,000 hours of homemaker and nursing services to 3,000 low income seniors, helping them live independently in their own homes.

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Prepared more than 1,100 meals per week for Meals on Wheels to deliver to vulnerable people across the community.

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Provided 14,000 client days of care for seniors who are frail or socially isolated through Adult Day Programs.

The Right Person
Counsellor, Long-Term Care
“I find people’s stories fascinating. We get every walk of life. People come here who’ve never had a chance as a human being. So we always have to be non-judgmental.”

As a Care Counsellor at Castleview Wychwood Towers, it’s Jill’s job to help residents feel at home. She builds close relationships with each resident in her care, fostering a connection that lets her understand and respond to their unique challenges and priorities. A personal touch from members like Jill helps bring a bit of light into what are often profoundly difficult situations.

What makes a great long-term care worker? Empathy. Integrity. And the flexibility to handle new challenges every day.

Now these vital services are under threat.
Now these vital services are under threat.

This year, the city announced plans to offload publicly run childcare centres to the private sector. That means lower pay in a sector that’s historically provided strong opportunities for women. And there’s no guarantee that wait lists would be reduced.

Despite the fact that our city’s senior population is already underserved and expected to grow, Toronto Seniors Services and Long-Term Care have been short staffed for years. In many homes, a single member of CUPE Local 79 is responsible for as many as 26 residents overnight. Not only are these conditions unsafe and unsustainable, they ultimately affect the quality of care we’re able to provide.

Across both daycare and long-term care, our members work with some of the city’s most vulnerable. Each is expected to provide high standards of care despite serious physical and mental workplace challenges. But the City wants to take away the mental and physical health support systems that ensure workers can perform their duties to the fullest.

Toronto deserves better. Help us continue to deliver the services our communities depend on.