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National Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) Standards for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access

  • RESET

Category:

EMPLOYMENT CONDITIONS

Sub-Category:

Sub-Category: GENERAL

Resolution Number:

600.10.177

Club:

Abbotsford/Mission

Province:

Alberta

Year:

1930

Status:

Open

Background:

Decades of underspending and the lack of a coordinated National Early Learning and Child Care System have left the Canadian childcare sector in a state of disorder. The essential role of Early Learning Educators and a lack of access to affordable quality child care became increasingly clear during the COVID-19 pandemic (BPW Canada, 2021). Families, particularly women, were profoundly impacted by the lack of childcare support, with many leaving the workforce and disrupting career advancement to care for their children. There are large gaps in data analyzing the specific challenges faced by marginalized, racialized, Indigenous, and gender-diverse women, as well as newcomers and women living with disabilities in accessing child care (Oxfam Canada, 2022).

To promote the recovery and participation of women in all their diversity in the Canadian workforce, in ensuring access to affordable universal quality child care, attention must be given to building a strong and stable childcare workforce strategy (BPW Canada, 2021). Like many challenges that the broader “care economy faces”, fair compensation and working conditions are paramount to a sustainable national childcare strategy (The Canadian Women’s Foundation et al., 2020). With the introduction of the Early Learning and Child Care Strategy and agreements from all provinces and territories, the recommendations outlined in Bill C-35 and the establishment of the National Advisory Council on Early Learning and Child Care are crucial steps toward a sustainable childcare system for all (Parliament of Canada, 2022).

BPW Canada and the IDEAS team (2023) consulted with Child Care Now Canada, Oxfam Canada, and the City of Peterborough Consolidated Municipal Service Manager, to explore collaborative action as communities begin to develop their ELCC implementation plans. To ensure that the transfer of funds and guidelines set out in the provincial agreements are fully transparent, it is recommended that the Government of Canada, relevant Ministries and the ELCC National Advisory Council (2023) include the following in their Early Learning and Child Care System oversight:

●      Ensure the voices of underrepresented women, newcomers, racialized and gender diverse groups are included in the policy development, service planning and implementation at the municipal community level. (City of Peterborough Early Learning 2019; Child Care Plan, 2024).

●      Employ Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access strategies to ensure that childcare service delivery models reflect the diverse needs of the community.

Comments:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW Canada) urges the Government of Canada and relevant ministries to develop and monitor a standard for the pan-Canadian Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) system that ensures the incorporation of the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity and access into a robust community-driven national child care and early learning strategy that: 1. Promotes community engagement and ensures an inclusive voice, including underrepresented and marginalized women (racialized, Indigenous, gender diverse, newcomers and those living with disabilities) to shape the delivery models for ELCC policies, programs and services; 2. Promotes access to ELCC resources and information that is sensitive to language, cultural, multi-generational and gender diverse barriers; 3. Requires education and awareness training for ELCC providers to promote cultural and gender diverse sensitivity; 4. Supports the development of innovative child care delivery models to engage newcomers to Canada, racialized groups and low income women in establishing and delivering programs and services that meet or exceed agreed upon standards of care, inclusion, diversity, equity and access; and 5. Includes a national ELCC workforce strategy to ensure a sustainable supply of high quality ELCC providers through improved working conditions, wages and innovative collaborative training and certification initiatives with community colleges, newcomer centres and ELCC Centres

©BPW Canada  www.bpwcanada.com

Article ID: 13353