children playing

When mom must work: Family day care as a welfare-to-work option

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version
Hughes, Colin & McCuaig, Kerry
Publication Date: 
1 Apr 2000

Excerpts from the report:

This study examines the potential of family day care as an employment option for people on social assistance. It responds to the new era of welfare reform with its emphasis on labour market participation and corresponding efforts by policy makers to simultaneously address several important social and economic needs: welfare 'dependency', and the lack of jobs and child care.

The study starts from the premise that employing social assistance recipients in child care is inherently neither a good nor a bad idea. To qualify as a successful strategy, it would have to provide:

- sustainable, secure and adequate employment proving sufficient earnings to raise a family out of poverty;

- an assured level of quality in the care of children that is both acceptable to parents and appropriate to healthy child development; and

- a contribution to community cohesion, including women's equity.

To ascertain the above the project undertook:

- a review of literature pertaining to home child care and social assistance reform in Canada, Europe, Australia and the United States;

- a review of American welfare-to-work evaluation studies;

- a survey of provincial/territorial/municipal officials and key informants in non-governmental organizations to determine welfare-to-work policies, pilots and training and educational programs in their respective jurisdictions designed to encourage social assistance recipients to become family day care providers;

- a survey of the above key informants to determine the practice of utilizing home child care as an employment option or income supplementation program for people on social assistance;

- to determine if impediments/supports exist for the practice;

- to develop recommendations and criteria for the consideration of policy makers and the community;

- to hold a symposium to review the findings with experts in the child care and social assistance fields.