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Agenda for this week. Field trip is cancelled. Proposal for Weeks 23 / 24. Some consolidation, some pot luck celebration… Paper #5 – take enough time to go over your prose and critical reflection. Today’s theme: Child care. SWLF 3105 (Week 21) Today’s theme: ‘Child Care’.

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Agenda for this week

  • Field trip is cancelled.

  • Proposal for Weeks 23 / 24. Some consolidation, some pot luck celebration…

  • Paper #5 – take enough time to go over your prose and critical reflection.

  • Today’s theme: Child care


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SWLF 3105 (Week 21)Today’s theme: ‘Child Care’

Two important thoughts as we begin:

  • Does it take a village…

  • What role does the state have in the nurseries of the nation?


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Being ‘optimistic’ about Canadian child care policy

The historical record:

  • 1922 – federal government creates the Division of Child Welfare (provides information on child-rearing for expectant mothers and new mothers).

  • WW2 – when many women enter the paid labour force, the federal government offers subsidies for nurseries and after-school programs. Programs withdrawn after WW2.

  • 1970 – Royal Commission on the Status of Women calls for a National Child Care Act.

  • 1986 - 1988 – successive reports call for a national, publicly funded child care system.


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Recent developments

  • October 2004 – federal Throne Speech indicates the government is willing to finally move ahead on its stated promises concerning child care (Handout: “Daycare in Canada”).

  • February 2005 – the 2005 Federal Budget pledges $5 B for child care over the next 5 years (Handout: “Child Care”).


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2. Friendly: the case for high-quality, publicly funded child care

Friendly offers two propositions:

  • That high-quality child care addresses the difficulties faced by working parents, particularly those most disadvantaged.

  • That access to high-quality child care provides women access to the labour market, and the potential of non-precarious employment.


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3. Public support for high-quality child care child care

On social attitudes and social policy:

  • If two-thirds of Canadians support a publicly funded, national program of high-quality child care, how do we explain the existing frameworks for child care?

  • Is it fair to assess blame on politicians and policymakers alone?


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The Quebec model child care

Tougas points out three features of Quebec’s social policy concerning child care:

  • Early childhood agencies: delivered through day care centres and regulated family day care for $7 per day (formerly $5 per day);

  • School-age programs: covering kids aged 5-12, and about 120,000 children.

  • Full-day kindergarten: for 5 year olds, with some programs for 4 year olds from disadvantaged families.


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Quebec child care – from ‘natalism’ to ‘feminism’ child care

  • Quebec’s earliest programs for child care involved ‘baby bonuses’ to stimulate increases in the birth rate;

  • After these programs were shown to have failed, Quebec embarked on an experiment in social policy that emphasized choice for parents (most notably mothers) who wanted the choice to work.

  • The result were targeted programs aimed at making child care a collective responsibility.


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6. Where is the outrage? child care

  • What are possible explanations for the lack of outcry around the question of publicly funded, high-quality child care outside Quebec?

  • Could politicians get away with temporarily asking Canadians to pay for health care costs while they settled disagreements between provincial and federal governments?

  • What role does the existing labour market play in complicating this issue? (Handout: “The daycare dilemma”)


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7. France and Germany: two approaches to state-funded child care

  • France: emphasis on choice for parents to access outside caregivers, maintain work or stay at home.

  • Germany: emphasis on providing support to parents to stay at home with children

  • What are the benefits or drawbacks of each approach?


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Single mothers, poverty, child careand child care

  • What forces single mothers interested in pursuing a career out of the labour force?

  • Why is this a matter where women are more likely to be involved? Why is there not similar data documenting the experiences of single fathers?


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9. The case against publicly-funded child care child care

  • How significant are these topics for the case Patrick Basham and Jonathan Chevreau present against publicly-funded child care?

    • Tax credits over universal government programs

    • Maintaining and supporting traditional ‘family values’

    • The efficiency of private sector child care over public sector options


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Next week child care

  • The theme: criminal justice.

  • Required reading for next week: National Council of Welfare, Justice and the Poor (2000).

  • Other interesting sources worth a closer look: Law Commission of Canada, What is a Crime? (2003)


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