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Economic and fiscal snapshot 2020

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Publication Date: 
1 Aug 2020

Excerpts related to  ‘child care’ in the economic and fiscal snapshot 2020

Not all groups have been equally affected by the economic crisis (Chart 1.3). Women have experienced more layoffs and a larger reduction in hours worked, with fewer able to get back to work as the economy began to recover in May. Low-wage workers, youth and very recent immigrants bore the brunt of employment losses in March and April. Moreover, working parents have also been hard hit by the downturn, with the working hours of mothers of young kids falling proportionally more than other mothers, reinforcing the important role of child care in helping Canadians return to work when jobs become available.

Closures of schools and child care services during COVID-19 increased the amount of unpaid work in the home which is disproportionately carried out by women. There is evidence that this has greatly affected employed women’s job performance for those teleworking as well as unemployed women’s ability to return to work or find work, especially when child care is unavailable.

Supporting the safe and sufficient supply of child care for parents returning to work – as part of the approximately $14 billion to support provinces and territories in the safe reopening of the country’s economies.

ILO reports that women perform three times more unpaid care work than men. This is likely to have increased as schools and child care services closed and women took on more child care and teaching duties, and as more meals needed to be cooked at home.

Safe Start Agreement (5)

Child Care

  • Ensuring that a safe, sufficient and adequate supply of child care is available to support the gradual return to work of parents
  • Support the needs of staff, including through training, extra salary costs, and proper equipment (including PPE) to keep children and staff safe

In particular, the working hours of mothers of young children fell proportionally more than for fathers and mothers of older kids, reflecting the unpaid care work in the home that is disproportionately carried out by women. This underscores the important role of gender equality and child care in helping Canadians return to work.

In addition, the Agreement will also reduce child care-related barriers to work for parents, which is expected to be particularly beneficial for women with young children, who tend to take on the majority of the burden of caring for children. This measure also helps Canadian industry and their workers by helping them to adapt their production to this new demand. More broadly, this will help all Canadians by supporting a safe reopening of the economy.

As provinces and territories slowly begin restarting economies, the federal government will continue to lead the way in providing support so that all orders of government can deliver the critical health and social services needed to allow Canadians to safely return to work. This includes increased testing and tracing capacity, providing guaranteed sick leave to deal with COVID-19, securing personal protective equipment, ensuring access to child care, protecting the vulnerable including Canadians in long-term care, supporting people experiencing mental health and problematic substance use challenges, and making sure that municipalities, which deliver many essential services Canadians rely on, have the support they need

This pandemic has amplified existing inequalities. Vulnerable groups are experiencing some of the most significant health, social and economic impacts. For instance, women, racialized Canadians, young people, parents without access to child care services, seniors, LGBTQ2 individuals, people with disabilities and those living on low-income have experienced the most drastic effect. These disproportionate impacts can be seen through job losses, the sharp reduction in hours worked, over-representation in frontline work, the additional burden of unpaid care work, and restricted access to community services and supports (see Annex 1, GBA+ Summary).