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‘I’m kind of in a dilemma’: the challenges of non-standard work schedules and childcare

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Richardson, B., Prentice, S., & Lero, D.
Publication Date: 
1 Dec 2021

Excerpted from abstract

Canada has long been criticized for its patchwork of childcare policies and programmes. In this context, parents who work non-standard hours face additional challenges finding, affording, and maintaining stable childcare. Drawing on a purposive sample of twenty Canadian parents of young children who have non-standard work schedules, we explore the challenges these parents face, the strategies they use, and the impacts of current childcare policies, especially for mothers. We draw on qualitative findings to show how childcare services, labour standards and employment practices must adapt to better serve Canadian families. In the context of the COVID pandemic, it is more critical than ever that policy makers and service providers appreciate that non-standard work results in extremely limited access to childcare services, even as childcare is increasingly recognized as essential to economic recovery, women’s equality, and child and family well-being.