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A community survey of child care issues in Canadian shift workers: Evidence for barriers and opportunities

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Scotland, Pheobe; Elk Valley Child Care Advisory Initiative & Elkford Women’s Task Force
Publication Date: 
1 Mar 2017



Child care availability and affordability are common concerns throughout many communities in Canada. Furthermore, there are specific child care issues affecting families that include shift workers. A formal initiative was developed in the Elk Valley, British Columbia, following identification of child care as a major concern of residents, and in 2015 a survey was conducted with the aim of understanding child care issues as they relate to employment. The intent was to investigate barriers and opportunities, and to develop both short- and long-term mitigation strategies. The survey queried the perspectives of 302 respondents, including parents, guardians, and other caregivers, as well as child care providers, employers, and other interested community members. The results confirmed that there are barriers to availability and affordability of child care and allowed for recommendations regarding mitigation strategies. Furthermore, respondents indicated that municipal governments, the provincial government, local employers, child care providers, families, and other community organizations are responsible for working together to develop solutions to the child care issues. The results of this community-based survey are applicable to other communities across Canada and internationally, and provide insight into child care issues that impact the workforce.