Excerpts from introduction
The Yukon is a unique place within Canada due to its rich cultural, ecological, geographic, and climatic diversity. It is home to approximately 42,500 residents dispersed over a landmass of nearly 475,000 square kilometres including 14 distinct First Nations, of which 11 have negotiated self-government agreements that support greater autonomy and self-determination. Despite its considerable riches and strengths, Yukon faces considerable ongoing challenges related to poverty, the consequences of which are disproportionately experienced by Indigenous peoples and children and youth.
This report provides an overview of key issues relating to poverty in Yukon:
- the housing crisis and the challenge of food insecurity with a focus of the disproportionate impact on children and youth, Indigenous peoples, and others.
- an overview of previous initiatives and ongoing work that can be leveraged to support a comprehensive approach to reducing poverty in the Yukon.
- a description of some successful community-driven initiatives that are supporting improvements in the health and wellness of Yukoners.
- ten recommendations including several policy proposals to improve the health and wellness of children, youth, and families specifically
3.4 Universal Low-Fee Child Care
As highlighted in recent living wage reports produced by the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition, the annual cost of child care services has increased substantially in recent years. In response to increasing rates, the Yukon Government announced the creation of a universal low-fee child care program starting April 1, 2021. Under the program, the average daily cost of child care is anticipated to decrease from roughly $43 to $11. xxi The reduction in child care costs will substantially benefit low- and modest-income families and will help to reduce the gap between the minimum wage and the living wage.
An evaluation of the Quebec universal low-fee child care program found that the program led to increased provincial tax revenues, decreased expenditures on transfers to individuals (i.e. reliance on income supports) and resulted in an increase in provincial Gross Domestic Product by an estimated 1.7% more than would have occurred otherwise.
- Recommendation 7: Move forward with the creation of a territory-wide universal lowfee child care program.
- Responsibility: Yukon Government