National Day of Action for Child Care and MUNFA St. John’s Child Care Working Group Report

President’s Update


December 1, 2023

National Day of Action for Child Care and MUNFA St. John’s Childcare Working Group Report

Hello everyone,

As you may know, yesterday, November 30th, was the National Day of Action for Child Care and Early Learning. MUNFA members, as a part of advocacy work with Child Care Now NL, have been doing fantastic work in the media to bring attention to this crucial issue over the past few months (see here, here, and here). 

Based on the responses to the “Assessing the Child Care Needs of MUNFA Academic Staff Members in St. John’s” survey sent around in July and August, a working group of ASMs has produced a childcare needs assessment at the St. John’s campus (see attached). 

To quote the report, “Access to affordable and inclusive child care is a critical area of faculty support and retention, vital to addressing gender-based inequities in academia, and therefore integral to the university’s core mission. The survey illustrates the central importance of access to child care for ASMs and the need for immediate action to expand child care services at the St. John’s campus.”

For more information about the work of Child Care Now across the country and the National Day of Action click here. We encourage ASMs to take a moment to sign Child Care Now’s Open letter, “Child care for all,” which calls for increased federal funding for equitable wages for early childhood educators and capital costs for child care expansion in the 2024 federal budget.

On behalf of the MUNFA Executive, I would like to give a sincere thank you to my fellow members of the working group, Christine Carter, Michael Kirkpatrick, Nicholas Lynch, Derek Messacar, Elizabeth Schwartz, and Yolande Pottie-Sherman. A special thank you as well to Elizabeth Schwartz for being one of the editors of the report and Yolande Pottie-Sherman for taking on the role of editor, author, and spokesperson. 

MUNFA Executive is actively working on ways to continue our ongoing advocacy on this important issue. This includes discussing ways to expand access to childcare to all of Memorial’s campuses (Grenfell and Labrador), drafting a letter to government officials, advocating for cross-union solidarity, and lobbying for action from Memorial’s Senior Administration using the findings of this report. Child Care access is a massive equity issue that requires immediate attention.

Josh Lepawsky

Professor of Geography and MUNFA President