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Weekly newsletter of the Childcare Resource and Research Unit  17/03/21


Building a national child-care system requires a coherent, ambitious approach
Policy Options, 17 March 2021 
This new article by Morna Ballantyne, Martha Friendly, and Susan Prentice discusses how the development of a national child care system requires direct operational funding to services, a clear vision and a sustained approach to system-building that addresses expansion, affordability and workforce challenges simultaneously. The authors conclude that system-building will depend on both the will and skill of the federal government, as well as the collaboration and interest of provincial and territorial governments on an ongoing basis.

MB: Manitoba’s child care legislation overlooks financial needs of day care workers, association says
Global News, 12 March 2021

Research, policy and practice

Feminist scorecard 2021: Accelerating a feminist COVID-19 recovery
Oxfam Canada, 16 March 2021This annual report assesses the steps that the federal government has taken over the past year to make progress on women’s rights and gender equality. Given the far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 crisis over the past year, the 2021 scorecard focuses on the government’s actions to help Canada and the world respond to and recover from the pandemic in 10 key policy areas. Each area is rated using red, yellow, green – indicating very little, some or significant progress made in each specific area. Child care policy in Canada has been given an orange rating, indicating that women who have lost their jobs or been forced to leave cannot return to paid work because of a lack of affordable and quality child care across Canada. 

Gender differences in unpaid care work and psychological distress in the UK COVID-19 lockdown
PLOS ONE, 4 March 2021
This article describes how men and women divided child care and housework demands during the height of the first COVID-19 lockdown in the UK, and whether these divisions were associated with worsening mental health during the pandemic. The authors conclude that women spent much more time on unpaid care work than men during lockdown, and it was more likely to be the mother than the father who reduced working hours or changed employment schedules due to increased time on childcare. The authors note that continued gender inequalities in divisions of unpaid care work, juggling home working with homeschooling and childcare as well as extra housework is likely to lead to poor mental health for people with families, particularly for lone mothers.

The gendered impacts of COVID-19: Lessons and reflections
Gender & Society, 5 March 2021
This editorial describes how the unprecedented social and economic disruptions of COVID-19 have provided gender scholars the opportunity to highlight long-term structural gender disparities and to study the impact of COVID-19 on gender inequality. This special COVID-19 issue of Gender & Society explores how gendered disparities were felt differently across family contexts, across national borders, and by women of different racial and minority groups within national borders. The editorial concludes that this research, across many countries, has shown that sexism must be addressed through changes to both social policy and cultural logic. 

Promoting quality in programs for infants and toddlers: Comparing the family child care and center-based teaching workforce 
Children and Youth Services Review, March 2021
This study compares the characteristics and views of family child care and centre-based infant and toddler teachers in New York City for the purpose of informing workforce development and quality enhancement in infant and toddler programs. Areas of study include: work environment; experience, training, and compensation; beliefs and practices; and professional development and peer support. The findings reveal encouraging levels of professional engagement but also important challenges including low compensation, managerial capacity, time and staffing constraints, the challenges and opportunities of teaching mixed-age children, and missed opportunities for professional learning.

Does family policy influence women’s employment?: Reviewing the evidence in the field
Political Studies Review, August 2017
This article discusses whether family policy regimes are converging and how different policies influence women’s employment outcomes in high-income countries. The main findings can be summarized as follows: family policy regimes continues to shape women’s employment outcomes despite some convergence towards the "Earning Carer" strategy; the shortage of childcare and the absence of maternal leave curtail women’s employment; long parental leave seems to put a brake to women’s employment; unconditional child benefits and joint couple’s taxation negatively influence women’s employment but support horizontal redistribution. 

The peculiar family business of family child care: Policy and regulation affecting emotional labour in caregiving
University of Toronto, November 2017
This PhD dissertation explains the disconnect between regulatory expectations for licensed family child care in Ontario and the lived experience of family child care providers. The author examines the historical policy development of the care model, role of mandatory home visitors, legislative expectations, and the social construction of the child care provider. The author concludes that the outdated funding model highly dependent on fee subsidies to parents and fuelled by gendered assumptions has resulted in poor recognition and compensation for family child care providers and therefore requires systemic policy change. 

Child care in the news 

CA: Universal child care would cure many social ills 
Toronto Star, 28 February 2021 

CA: COVID-19, women's employment, and the critical role of childcare
Mount Royal University, 5 March 2021

PE: P.E.I. boosts investment in early childhood education
CBC News, 12 March 2021

NS: Community 'shocked' by consolidation of two Dartmouth Day Care Centre locations
CBC News, 11 March 2021

MB: Child care cash remains parked
Winnipeg Free Press, 10 March 2021

AB: Rates will rise as childcare pilot program comes to staggered end
Medicine Hat News, 16 March 2021

US: Congress greenlights a $40 billion bailout for the child-care industry
CNBC, 10 March 2021

Online Documents Catalogue on the CRRU websiteThe CRRU email newsletter, sent out weekly to a subscribed list, lists new policy documents and news articles added to the website that week. These become part of the website’s Online Document Catalogue of ECEC-pertinent resources. 
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