Lack of childcare can pose a great challenge to families facing the choice between employment and poverty. The lack of childcare is the greatest barrier for parents trying to get off welfare.
If we look at Ontario families with children 11 and under:
73% of two parent families
47% of single parent families
have the mother also working outside the home.
The unfortunate truth is that most economically disadvantaged parents do not have access to traditional supports for parenting. Few parents have extended family close to help with childcare and other needs. Some families may not even know many people in their communities.
Childcare in Canada can be very costly, low income employment is inadequate in covering the costs of childcare. The average cost of licensed daycare in Ontario goes from $520 to $640 for a month depending on the region
A major factor in future success at school is participation in a quality early child development program. High quality daycare services have a life long positive influence on children’s behaviour and health.
Government funding for daycare has continued to decrease. Funding cuts have led some school boards to cut junior kindergarten programs, which had been the only early childhood development program in Canada available to all four year olds.
2. Child and Youth Health Network of Eastern Ontario and Determinants of health Working Group. March 2000. The Challenges Our Children Face: Are we building healthy communities? Is there room for improvement? A report card on child poverty in Renfrew.