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Home Policy Articles: Children & Family: Daycare & Childcare


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A Proposal for Restructuring the Universal Child Care Benefit popular

In this brief paper, Richard Zuker proposes restructuring the Conservative Party’s Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB). Zuker’s proposal is intended to address some criticisms of the program. According to the author, the UCCB has been criticized at the policy framework and design levels.

Assessing Family Policy in Canada: A New Deal for Families and Children popular

Lefebvre and Merrigan begin their report by pointing out that most children in Canada are emotionally, physically, and socially healthy, yet they suggest there are some disturbing trends relating to children in Canada. Recent reports have revealed that child abuse and neglect have increased, juvenile crime is rising, children are consuming more alcohol and drugs than previous generations, and suicide rates are rising.

Redesigning the “Welfare Mix” for Families: Policy Challenges popular

In this paper, Jane Jenson examines the welfare mix in Canada: the policies and programs adopted by the Canadian government in response to the challenges of restructured labour markets, deepening poverty, economic marginalization and social exclusion, changing family patterns, an ageing society, and the evolution to a knowledge-based economy. Jenson suggests the concept of welfare goes beyond social assistance; according to Jenson, the four sources of welfare include market income, family resources, community resources, and government assistance.

$7-a-day childcare: Are parents getting what they need?

Norma Kozhaya says this model of daycare benefits some parents and harms others. Researchers estimated that families with annual incomes between $25,000 and $40,000 were worse off under the new system, while families with incomes of $60,000 or more benefit most.

BC Solutions Budget 2006: Budgeting for Women's Equality

Despite a strong economy in British Columbia, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives argues that women have been largely excluded from its benefits.

Behind the Issues: Ontario 2003 - Investing in quality child care

The CCPA examines child and family poverty in Ontario, with a specific focus on child-care programs. It argues the next provincial government must ensure that all families can share in the province’s collective prosperity; this includes having access to child care so that parents can work.

Bringing Cities to the Table: Child Care and Intergovernmental Relations

This article by Jane Jensen and Rianne Mahon uses child care as “a lens to examine governance relations, both democratic and intergovernmental” between cities, provinces and the federal government. The first section describes the patterns and practices of accountability in Canada, specifically analysing three Canadian cities (Toronto, Hamilton and Vancouver), coming to the conclusion that modernizing these patterns and practices poses quite a conundrum as all cities are far from equal. The second section thus challenges the universal validity of three assertions: “That decentralization will automatically foster more integrated services; that decentralization will necessarily undermine equity and that Canada’s constitutional arrangements make it impossible for municipalities to have a direct relationship with the federal government”, concluding that the most important factor in determining whether a “danger” or an “impossibility” exists in any of the aforementioned assertions is “political, not constitutional or institutional.” The third section then offers means of progressing from the lessons learned in the first two sections. It offers, for instance, the idea that “there is a trade-off between equity across space and local knowledge of needs.”

Caring for Canadians in a Canada Strong and Free

Former Ontario Premier Mike Harris and former Reform Party leader Preston Manning discuss the “vision deficit” and “policy deficit” they consider to be evident in Canadian politics, particularly at the federal level.

Early Learning and Child Care in Saskatchewan: Past, Present and Future

In this paper Martha Friendly discusses the early learning and childcare imitative outlined in the 2004 Federal Liberal campaign. She focuses on where the plan homes from and the specific challenges Saskatchewan faces in implementing it.

Finding Common Ground on Child Care

According to Ken Battle, Sherri Torjman and Michael Mendelson, the Conservative Party’s Choice in Child Care Allowance is flawed. This new plan, the authors contend, has a hidden cost: that of higher income taxes and lower payments.

Making Early Childhood Development a Priority: Lessons from Vancouver

Canadians have become increasingly aware of the benefits of early childhood development. Clyde Hertzman points out that it is now recognized, from both a scientific and government perspective, that early childhood experiences can have a profound impact on health, wellbeing, and coping skills throughout one’s life.

More Than a Name Change: The Universal Child Care Benefit

The Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) is the Harper government’s first major social policy initiative since taking office. As the authors point out, UCCB has improved since its was first proposed as the Choice in Child Care Allowance. In their view, however, two serious flaws remain. According to Ken Battle, Sherri Torjman and Michael Mendelson, one flaw is that the UCCB will be taxable for the lower-earner parent in a couple and the lone parent in single-parent families. As a result, families with the same income but of a different type will receive different after-tax benefits. In the new program, single-parent families will end up with the smallest after-tax benefits. The other problem with the UCCB, the authors posit, is the abolishment of the $249 annual young child-care supplement that was part of the Canada Child Tax Benefit. Mainly low- and modest-income families used this supplement; in the authors view, its loss, along with the increase in taxable income, will make the distribution of net benefits unfair.

Quality Counts: Assessing the Quality of Daycare Services Based on the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development

In this edition of Choices, Christina Japel, Richard Tremblay, and Sylvana Côté examine the unique childcare program in Quebec and evaluate it by analyzing the results of the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development (QLSCD). As the authors explain, Quebec’s approach to childcare is different than that of most provinces because resources are allocated to service providers rather than families; furthermore, childcare is available at a fixed-fee rate for all children under the age pf four, irrespective of family income. In their research, Japel, Tremblay, and Côté also consider other studies pertaining to the importance of quality in childcare vis-à-vis child development and well-being.

The Choice in Child Care Allowance: What You See Is Not What You Get

In this short paper, Ken Battle analyzes the Conservative Party’s plan for a Choice in Child Care Allowance.

The Incredible Shrinking $1,200 Child Care Allowance: How to Fix It

The debate on the Child Care Allowance revealed a clash of philosophies, that of cash-to-parents versus cash-to-provinces. Ideological debate aside, Ken Battle posits the $1,200 Child Care Allowance has significant design flaws that will negatively impact families of different types and incomes.

The Nova Scotia Child Poverty Report Card: 1989-2004

This report assesses the trends in child poverty in Nova Scotia over the course of a five-year period (1989-2004), and examines the impact of the National Child Benefit Program that was established in 1998.

Towards open skies for airlines in Canada

According to Pierre J. Jeanniot, the Canadian government is considering greater liberalization in the country’s airline industry in line with the current international trend toward open markets in aviation.

Working for Working Parents: The Evolution of Maternity and Parental Benefits in Canada

Shelley Phipps examines maternity and parental benefit programs that have developed over the past decade and “what changes might still be necessary.”