Report recommends investing 1% of GDP to early care and learning.
Ottawa (4 Mar. 2011) - The Coalition of Child Care Advocates of British Columbia and the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada have released a report entitled A Tale of Two Canadas: Implementing Rights in Early Childhood.
The report explores the two fundamentally different answers to the questions of how Canada is doing at protecting the rights of young children and to what extent public policy in Canada recognizes the social and economic changes and challenges facing Canadian families today.
Both federal and provincial governments suggest that the measures they are taking to support young children and their families are generally adequate. For families that are struggling, governments say they are doing as much as they can and that conditions are improving over time.
However, the Tale of Two Canadas shows that the evidence paints a different reality. Canada's public support for young children and their families is the weakest among the world's rich countries and Canada's policies and investments fall far short of the commitments made under mulitiple agreements.
Two key concerns noted in the report are:
1. The level of child and family poverty - almost 10% of young children and their families are living in poverty.
2. The lack of access to quality early care and learning programs - there are only enough regulated spaces for about 20% of young children despite the reality that 70% of Canadian mothers are in the paid labour force.
Among its recommendations, the report suggests that governments should invest 1% of GDP in early care and learning.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE