Affiché le jeudi, 26 mai 2011
Canada is lagging behind other member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in providing affordable and good quality childhood education and care and the federal government has a responsibility to take action, says CLC President Ken Georgetti.
The OECD has released a Better Life Index measuring the quality of life among its 34 member countries. Canada is near the top in most categories but the OECD says that parents in this country face a challenge in finding good quality and affordable care for their children. Canada’s child care costs are the highest in the OECD.
“Child care in Canada is unavailable, unaffordable, and of uncertain quality,” says Georgetti. “Quebec has a good system in place but we lack a pan-Canadian universal child care system. It’s time for action.”
The report says that 76% of Canadian women are working, which is well above the OECD average, and that in two out of three two-parent Canadian families both parents work. But Canada’s spending on child care, at 0.2% of GDP, falls far behind that of other countries. Sweden spends 10 times more, Finland five times more and the United Kingdom spends twice as much.
Georgetti says that investing in early childhood education and care is a smart move. “It’s good for families and for the economy. Every dollar invested in high quality childcare programs increases our GDP by $2.30.” He adds that good child care will stimulate local economies, contribute to women’s equality and make Canada more competitive. “Healthy child development provides the foundation for a knowledge-based economy, where jobs require lifelong learning.”
The OECD report says Canada should increase government childcare support to ensure that more Canadians have access to affordable and good quality child care. Delegates to the recent CLC national convention held in Vancouver called upon the federal government to provide significant funding to provinces and territories that commit to building universally accessible, publicly managed, high quality, not-for-profit early childhood education and care systems, with adequate compensation to Quebec, which does have a universal program.
Read more at: http://www.canadianlabour.ca/childcare