Child care is the missing puzzle piece in Canada’s quest to end poverty, says Campaign 2000 in its annual report being released Tuesday, the United Nations’ Universal Children’s Day.
The national coalition dedicated to eradicating child poverty is joining more than 100 parents, grandparents and early childhood educators on Parliament Hill Tuesday to lobby MPs and senators on why Ottawa needs to step up its support for this “crucial service” for young families.
“If parents are to escape poverty through workforce participation or education … access to high-quality child care is essential,” says the coalition, named after Parliament’s 1989 all-party resolution to wipe out child poverty in Canada by 2000.
“While high-quality child care is beneficial for all children, it is an especially important buffer from the negative effects of poverty for low-income children,” the coalition says in its report.
Toronto mother Gabrielle Griffith, who has been scrambling to move off welfare and into full-time work, says the stress of finding affordable child care for her son Elijah, 3, has been enormous.
“It should be a public service just like health care and public education,” she says.