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Work around the clock: A snapshot of non-standard hours child care in Canada

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Occasional Paper 29
Halfon, Shani & Friendly, Martha
Publication Date: 
14 Sep 2015


This report is intended to be a useful tool for policy makers striving to strengthen child care policy and programs, researchers studying child care, family and workplace policy issues, advocates working for accessible high quality child care for all Canadian families and employers of non-standard hours workers. Its main purpose is to provide an up-to-date report on the state of child care for families working non-standard hours in Canada. 

The report includes: 

  • Executive summary available in English and French
  • Data and information about non-standard work and non-standard workers in Canada; 
  • A review of pertinent literature on non-standard hours child care;
  • A review of selected literature on the effects of non-standard work on work-family balance generally;
  • Information collected from a scan of provincial/territorial policies and initiatives related to non-standard hours child care (including initiatives that have and have not been sustained); 
  • Several case studies of non-standard hours child care programs;
  • International examples of non-standard hours child care provision, research and analysis. 

Challenges, opportunities and issues for child care are identified and analyzed in the larger context of Canadian child care. In that context, the report includes practical information about what seems to “work” and what does not seem to work for families and services. The paper’s last section uses the information to make a number of recommendations to governments, employers, unions, human rights specialists and parents.