Canada’s Status of Women Ministers respond to Child Care Now

Child Care is on their radar

Child Care Now sent a letter (example) to the federal/provincial/ territorial Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women in advance of their annual meeting in November 2017.

The letter asked the ministers to work with child care advocates and parents to make transformative change in child care so that women can achieve real gender equality and economic security.

As a start, the letter urged the Ministers to:

  • Regularly meet, discuss and work with groups working on child care
  • Federally, consider holding special hearings on child care
  • Find ways to help child care organizations build their capacity to do an even better job with respect to research, citizenship engagement and popular education

Several Ministers responded to Child Care Now:

Hon. Bronwyn Eyre, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, Government of Saskatchewan said she is, “committed to further building access to high quality, affordable, accessible, flexible and inclusive licenced child care.”

As Saskatchewan negotiates its agreement with the federal government for financial support for early learning, Eyre stated, “We share the goal of ensuring the best child care system and agree that the federal government must invest to meet its commitments to ensuring parity with other developed countries.”

Hon. Siobhan Coady, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, acknowledged that women, “across Canada are more likely than men to be responsible for not only child care, but often other unpaid care…This can have a significant impact not only on the status of women socially, but economically.”

She outlined the measures that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador have recently taken, including a $3.3 million annual increase in support to early childhood educators and families, an hourly wage supplement for ECCs and an ongoing commitment to full day kindergarten.

Hon. Stephanie McLean, Minister of Status of Women, Government of Alberta, recognized, “that affordable, accessible, high-quality child care is one of the best ways to enhance women’s economic security and advance gender equality.”

She stated that the Government of Alberta is committed to making life more affordable for families and, among several investments, cites a $300 million investment in the child care sector for 2017/18 and $10 million towards first steps in implementing $25/day child care.

Hon. Kelly Regan, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women, stated that, “Nova Scotia is committed to ensuring that children from birth to school entry, and their families, have increased access to comprehensive, integrated, and culturally-responsive early childhood education programs, resources, and support for healthy early childhood development, and improved outcomes for all children.”

Regan confirmed that, as part of their commitment to women’s economic empowerment, access to quality child care is discussed frequently and that a Senior Officers task team is dedicated to exploring the issue. Nova Scotia has invested in wages for ECEs with a minimum wage floor and committed to a no fee play-based learning program for 4-year-olds.

Join the fight for high quality, accessible, inclusive child care by letting the government know child care is your priority at