Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Child Care: We Need Better

Yesterday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in Burnaby, BC to discuss the government's plan to include his promises of a $1 200 child-care payment (taxable) to parents for each child under six and funding businesses and community organizations to increase spaces. However these proposed solutions fall short of the vision for a truly pan-Canadian system of early learning and child care in which parents and child care providers work together for optimal outcomes for each and every child.

In Canada, we need child care spaces available and that are affordable. Right now, the Canadian Child Care Federation (CCCF) estimates that currently, 70% of mothers with children under six are in the workforce. All of these families require some form of child care. At the same time there are only enough regulated child care spaces for 15% of the children who need it.

Not good enough.

What is also not good enough is a scant $1 200 taxable payment to parents. Without affordable child care, visible minorities and the poor are unfairly neglected.

At the start of 2005, one million Canadian children, or nearly one in six, are still poor. Aboriginal people are disproportionately affected. Annual earnings of Canadian-born workers of colour averaged $21,983 in 2000 compared to $25,205 for immigrant workers of colour, and $30,141 for other persons born in Canada.

During the election campaign, Harper highlighted choices in child care as a key issue and I agree fully that parents and families need real choices to support their diverse needs – everything from full-time centre-based care, to flexible care in a family child care setting, to part-time preschool type programming that can be accessed by parents who stay home. But if we are going to achieve this, we need to start demanding better.


Useful Child Care Links:

Child Care Choices - BC Child Care Resource & Referral Network
Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre
BC Coalition of Women's Centres
BC Council for Families
The Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP)
Aboriginal Children's Circle of Early Learning (ACCEL)
Campaign 2000 - End child poverty in Canada
Canadian Child Care Federation
Canadian Pediatric Society
Canadian Policy Research Networks
Centre for Families, Work and Well-Being
Child and Family Canada
Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada
Child care in Sweden
The Daycare Trust (UK)
Early Childhood Education and Care in Finland
National Association of Community Based Children’s Services - NACBCS (Australia)
National Network for Child Care (US)
UNICEF Convention on the Rights of the Child

1 Comments:

At 2:58 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

There are some individuals that count the calories of everything they consume while others just eat everything that is put in front of them and much, much more. The type of person who will always eat the leftovers of someone’s meal and finish the pie that’s been sitting around for a week.

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ages

There are some individuals that count the calories of everything they consume while others just eat everything that is put in front of them and much, much more. The type of person who will always eat the leftovers of someone’s meal and finish the pie that’s been sitting around for a week.

 

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