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Building a robust and sustainable care economy

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Submission to The Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities on labour shortages, working conditions, and the care economy.
Ontario Nonprofit Network
Publication Date: 
1 Apr 2022

Excerpted from submission

The care economy is essential yet undervalued

Everyone needs care, and much of it is provided by nonprofits Care work meets the physical, psychological, and emotional needs of everyone: adults and children, the old and young, the frail and able-bodied. It creates the conditions for the economy to 1 function and is indispensable to our collective well-being. Care work can be understood in three overlapping ways:

● Direct, face-to-face caring activities;

● Indirect caring or domestic labour activities that create the preconditions for reproducing and maintaining people and households;

● Direct and indirect activities that ensure the development and transmission of knowledge, social values, and cultural practices. This includes the emotional labour involved in sustaining relationships within families, friends, colleagues, neighbours, and broader community.

The care economy is the sum of these paid and unpaid activities. Many care work industries are entirely or partly composed of nonprofit workplaces: child care, long-term care (LTC), home care, meals on wheels, developmental and disability services, shelters and supportive housing, community health centres, gender-based violence services, mental health and addiction supports, family services, settlement and refugee services, and employment and training services. This submission focuses on the nonprofit portion of the care economy