Kids First Parents Association of Canada

Child Care Poll: Parents’ Group Calls for Fair Democratic Child Care Funding

Media release: Burnaby, Oct 10, 2013

Kids First Parent Association of Canada is calling for fair child care policies that reflect what Canadians want. A solid majority of highly educated Canadians say that parental child care is best, according to the release this week of findings from a poll conducted by Abingdon Research for the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada.

62 percent with a post graduate degree and 80 percent of with some university say it is best for children under six to be cared for by a parent. Overall, 76 percent say parental child care is better for children than care by a “competent care giver”.

Only 36 percent of post grads polled want public funds to go to daycare centres or to daycare in schools. Overall 61 percent prefer funding options that provide support to families rather than to a daycare system.

The report’s interviews with highly educated mothers suggest that fear of losing professional employability are reflected in poll results showing their higher level of support for non-parental child care.

Kids First President, Helen Ward, says, “The poll demonstrates that there is no democratic mandate for our discriminatory child care funding regime. Government punishes parental child care. Politicians ignore children’s right to be cared for by their own parents as recognized by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.”

Statistics Canada reports fewer than 15 percent of children under 6 in daycare centres. Those who claim over 70 percent of mothers working full time outside the home are misleading. In reality these statistics measure “labour force participation”. This is a sweeping, catch-all statistic that includes those: on paid and unpaid leave, doing any amount of paid work part time, unemployed, temporarily laid off, doing any unpaid work in a family enterprise, looking for a job, or doing paid work at home.

Explaining Kids First’s concerns Ward says, “We are told both parents must work full time and need daycare, but most children do not have both parents – or single parents – away 9-to-5 every weekday. Families are very diverse: preferentially subsidizing daycare is done at the expense of fair financial support for all families and children. This discrimination against parental child care is a primary cause of child poverty. It deprives families of real choice and public funds intended to help children. It coerces parents into more time at jobs and apart from kids, and pushes them into licenced daycare which the research repeatedly states is of ‘minimal to mediocre quality’ and inadequate to meet children’s developmental needs.

”Kids First calls on government to fund families directly. Billions of dollars could be freed up for this by eliminating preferential treatment for non-parental care. The group is preparing human rights challenges to government’s definitions of child care that specifically exclude parental child care in tax and child care funding legislation.

CONTACT: Helen Ward 604-291-0088 info@kidsfirstcanada.org

Sources

  1. 15% age 6 mos-5 yrs in daycare centres: Child Care in Canada. Statistics Canada. p. 97

  2. Labour Force Participation: “Determining labour force

  3. “Minimal to mediocre” quality licensed child care: You Bet I Care! 2 Caring and Learning Environments: Quality in Child Care Centres Across Canada. Guelph University. p. ix

    Quality counts! Assessing the quality of daycare services based on the Quebec longitudinal study of child development. Institute for Research in Public Policy.



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