Saturday, December 9

Two minute action on Child Care

The Conservatives have cancelled the provincial - federal child care agreements which would have provided much-needed quality child care

What you can do today:

What does the cancellation of the provincial - federal child care agreements mean for women?

  • In 2003, the previous federal government dedicated federal funds for early learning and child care programs and then continued to build a child care system through bilateral agreements with provinces and territories that provided an additional $5 billion commitment over five years.

  • The current federal government has announced the cancellation of these bilateral agreements on March 31 2007. This results in cuts of $1.2 billion that was committed to provinces and territories to invest in their own communities, families, and children. Instead of funding child care services in communities, the current federal government has introduced a taxable family allowance and announced a$250 million incentive-based child care spaces initiative – an approach tried and abandoned by other governments because it simply doesn’t work.
  • Quality child care has been called the “ramp’ to women’s equality. Without it, women can’t participate fully in economic, social, political and cultural life. That’s why Canadian women need – and deserve - a publicly-funded and publicly accountable, non-profit, pan-Canadian child care system.
  • More and more women with children are working (72%). They need quality child care to study, train for jobs and work with peace of mind. Women working in the home need quality developmental experiences for their children too.
  • All women want to know their children are in good hands.
  • One in six children in Canada (15.6%) lives in poverty.
  • More than 50% of female lone parents are poor. Access to dependable, affordable child care can help mothers improve the lives of their families. It allows them to train for jobs, and to get decent jobs and keep them.
  • Child care contributes to women’s economic independence, and that means they can more easily take themselves and their children out of abusive relationships. Child care supports the employability of mothers while at the same time helping provide children with the foundations for lifelong health, learning and skill development.
  • A Child care program also benefits childcare workers who only earn 62% of what most women earn.
  • Canadian economists identified a $2 benefit for every $1 invested in a high quality child care system. Quebec which has introduced a comprehensive child care system is already seeing a return of forty cents on every dollar invested. Child care is a tremendous support to families because it allows parents, particularly women, to increase their labour force attachment.
  • Two recent international studies show that Canada is well behind other countries when it comes to early learning and child care services.
  • While Canada is one of the wealthiest countries, we rate at the very bottom when it comes to investing in child care, and investments in maternity / parental leave and other social programs – don’t rate much better.

1 comment:

B said...

I want to point out something else that these cuts do: they force mothers to lose their children to adoption. The fear of poverty causes expectant mothers to surrender their children through adoption agencies and "private adoptions" as they fear that they will lack the resouces to raise that child. And if they ARE brave enough to keep their child, poverty often forces the surrender of their child to Child Protection services, as poverty is a justification to take a child under the heading of "neglect." If you cannot afford to feed, clothe and house your child, you lose that child to foster care and then adoption.

Many young struggling families are never given a chance. Please work for women's rights and the right to a guaranteed annual income that will keep ALL single-mother-headed families above the poverty line. If it can be done in Australia and New Zealand, it can be done in Canada. It will keep families from being destroyed and dismembered by adoption.

Thank you for speaking out for women. Many more Canadians should also.