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Working for change: Canada's child care workforce

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Labour market update study
Beach, J., Bertrand, J., Forer, B., Michal, D., & Tougas, J.
Publication Date: 
9 Nov 2004

For print copies contact the Child Care Human Resources Sector Council at: 1-866-411-6960 or e-mail

The Labour Market Update Study consists of the following reports:

- Main report

- Executive summary

- Profiles and case studies

- Literature review

Excerpts from the report overview:

The release in 1998 of the child care sector study, Our Child Care Workforce: From Recognition to Remuneration, marked a turning point for a sector that up to that time had remained largely invisible. Sponsored by Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC), the study was the first of its kind to focus exclusively on the human resource and training issues faced by caregivers in the different settings that comprise the sector. Importantly, the study demonstrated that the child care sector has far-reaching social and economic impacts in Canada. It concluded with a set of recommendations designed to give the child care workforce the necessary supports to provide high quality services to children.

After the 1998 sector study's release, there was a period of consultation on the recommendations in the report, culminating in the establishment in 2000 of the Child Care Human Resources Round Table. In the fall of 2002, the Round Table received funding from HRDC (now Human Resources and Skills Development Canada &em; HRSDC) to conduct a Labour Market Update (LMU) of the child care sector as a follow-up to the 1998 child care sector study.

The LMU was undertaken over a 15-month period beginning in February 2003 by a five-member research and consulting team under the direction of the LMU Working Group, a sub-committee of the Round Table. What has changed in the sector and in society since the publication of Our Child Care Workforce? What do these developments mean for the child care workforce of today and tomorrow? These are just two of the questions that the follow-up to the sector study - the LMU - sets out to explore.

The objectives of the study were to:

- identify the relevant environmental changes that have taken place since the data for the 1998 child care sector study were collected and analyzed;

- assess the impact and implications of these changes on child care recruitment, retention and recognition; and

- provide a forward-looking analysis that will be used by the sector to devise a cohesive plan that addresses human resource needs in the child care sector across Canada.