Child Care Advocates, Federal/Provincial Politicians Meet To Save Child Care Agreements

Monday, July 26 2010

Study [Building a Community Architecture for Early Childhood Learning and Care] shows national child care plan can meet diverse needs

March 20, 2006: Just as Stephen Harper's Conservatives are poised to cancel the federal child care agreements with the provinces, a new study indicates Canada can have a national child care program that responds to the unique needs of individual communities and families.

"The findings dispense with many of the assumptions that Canada is too vast and diverse to make a national child care program viable," said Paulette Senior, CEO of YWCA Canada, the study's sponsor. "We found that both mothers at home and those in the labour force want early learning programs for their children. Communities, whether rural, suburban or urban, value early childhood services and the contribution they make."

Building a Community Architecture for Early Childhood Learning and Care is being presented at a day long symposium in Toronto on March 20 with advocates from across the country, Ontario's Minister of Children and Youth Services and critics from the federal opposition parties.

The conclusions emerge from panels established in four representative communities: Halifax, Nova Scotia; Cambridge, Ontario; Martensville, Saskatchewan; and Vancouver, British Columbia. Business and labour, aboriginal, ethnic, community, women's and parent groups, profit and non-profit service providers and municipal and provincial officials met over the course of a year. Each community produced remarkably similar service frameworks. Central to their proposals is the integration of the existing service patchwork as a foundation to expand flexibility and access and call for coherent policies at the provincial and federal level.

Interestingly, while the panels were free to consider all options, none recommended giving money directly to parents. Instead they prioritized addressing long wait lists. "Money to parents, can't buy services that aren't there for children," said Senior. "Neither can a tax measure promote equality", she said. "While all family members are affected, women pay a disproportionate price when quality child care is not available."

Input from the panels was in the process of being integrated into their provinces' child care plans when the Prime Minister cancelled the agreements, cutting $3-billion and putting thousands of projects on hold.

Despite the change in government, Senior argues the study remains relevant. "A minority government, facing a united opposition backed by the majority of premiers and public opinion can be made to realize that a deal is a deal. Even if the Tories won't move, connecting today's fragmented services into a system would better meet the needs of children and families."

Building a Community Architecture for Early Childhood Learning and Care and related documents are available on the web at

www.ywcacanada.ca. Funding was provided by Human Resources Development Canada.www.ywca.ca/public_eng/online_catalog/downloads/Childcare_AnalysisRecommendations.pdfwww.ywca.ca/public_eng/advocacy/childcare/ChildcareQ&A.pdf

LINKS

Analysis & Recommendations - Building a Community Architecture for Early Childhood Learning Click here to download Results (PDF file)

Questions & Answers - Building a Community Architecture for Early Childhood Learning Click here to download Q&A. (PDF file)

YWCA Media Advisory: Child Care Advocates, Federal/Provincial Politicians Meet To Save Child Care Agreements Click here

www.ywca.ca/public_eng/advocacy/press_releases/index.cfm?CodeNumber=27 http://www.buildchildcare.ca/BE_petition.php/honourthem

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