• Access to early childhood education services varies widely across Canada

    “As more children participate in kindergarten and pre-kindergarten, child care is left to top and tail the school day and fill in during holidays,” the report says. “This is a poor model that leaves too many families on wait lists for child care, destabilizes child care operators and creates split-shift, precarious jobs for early childhood educators.”

  • It’s time to let Indigenous communities manage native child welfare

    Ottawa should start funding aboriginal communities who either have, or are in the midst of developing, their own child-welfare laws. As aboriginal child welfare advocate Cindy Blackstock says, “Fix it now. We can always argue later.” Of course, reforming child welfare is just the start. Knowing that children are safe and, wherever possible, living in their home community are minimum standards that shouldn’t take years to meet. But it is only one of many needed fixes. Too many remote reserves still lack clean drinking water, adequate food and decent housing

  • Ottawa to begin fully funding Indigenous child-welfare agencies

    The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal issued its order on Thursday, saying Ottawa was not complying with a 2016 ruling that found it discriminates against Indigenous children by underfunding child welfare services. In a statement, Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott on Thursday said… that Ottawa would immediately begin to cover agencies’ actual costs for prevention, intake and investigation, along with legal fees and building repairs, with reimbursement retroactive to Jan. 26, 2016.

  • Let residential school survivors share their stories

    Angela Shisheesh… would like her harrowing story of abuse to be part of the historical record, accessible to the public like those of many of her fellow victims. Yet because she, like so many others, settled her legal case before 2006, it is up the organizations responsible for her maltreatment to determine whether her testimony can be made public… To deny her and other victims a voice amounts to a sort of cultural erasure, an important aspect of the residential schools’ terrible impact.

  • With Philpott at the helm, Ottawa (finally) takes action on Indigenous issues

    One of Dr. Philpott’s most welcome actions is to finally get Ottawa to comply with a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling related to Jordan’s Principle… Health Canada has approved more than 29,000 requests in recent months, most for children with disabilities and mental-health issues… the boldest shift of all has been in funding… First Nations with good financial records will now get guaranteed 10-year funding, fully indexed, and with little paperwork. Rather than be wards of the state, we will see the emergence of more autonomous First Nations.

  • Many Working Families Face Tax Trap

    Working parents with children—particularly low-income families— face prohibitive tax rates that discourage taking on extra employment to get ahead, according to a new report from the C.D. Howe Institute. In “Two-Parent Families with Children: How Effective Tax Rates Affect Work Decisions” author Alexandre Laurin finds that mothers and poorer families are the most adversely affected by this tax trap.

  • Judge rules poverty not a reason to take child away

    An impoverished Halifax-area couple have regained custody of their toddler daughter, after a judge declared: “There is a difference between parents who are poor, and poor parents.” The province took the little girl into care in June 2016 because of her parents’ multiple challenges, including mental-health issues, interpersonal conflict and unstable living circumstances brought on by poverty… “It’s in the context of the parents’ accommodations that their poverty is conflated with being poor parents,” said the judge.

  • Why can’t Canada keep up on child care?

    According to OECD recommendations, Ottawa should be spending 1 per cent of Canada’s GDP on child care. Our government currently invests only 0.25 per cent. By quadrupling our federal investment, we would both make child care more affordable and improve the quality of programs through supporting the education and training of early childhood educators. It would improve pay and benefits to the child care workforce – those compassionate people who care lovingly, creatively and professionally for children and who are so instrumental in their development.

  • Access to early childhood programs is as important as primary education

    The most important dimensions for policy makers to tackle are enrolment rates and the duration that children receive ECE programming. These are key factors tied to better future academic scores, and they are the areas where Canada falls well below the standards in other advanced countries… Ensuring all Canadian children aged 3 to 5 have access to full-day education would come at a cost… However, the economic benefit derived from this investment would exceed the outlay… as high as $6 for every dollar invested.

  • Time Out: Child care fees in Canada 2017

    As rising fees push child care out of reach, families are scrambling for stopgap solutions including settling for unlicensed child care options or having one parent stay home because they can’t afford to return to work… This study… reveals the most and least expensive cities for child care in Canada… [with] an annual snapshot of median parental child care fees in Canada’s 28 biggest cities for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers… the study also includes child care fees in selected rural areas.