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A whole life: The impact of $10-a-day child care on the health and socioeconomic well-being of low-income lone mothers in BC

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Caragata, L., Ellis, V., & Alemayehu, Z. S.
Publication Date: 
18 Dec 2023


Making Mothers Matter: Understanding the Role of Child Care on the Health and Socioeconomic Wellbeing of Low-Income Lone Mothers in British Columbia is a three-year participatory action research (PAR) project conducted in partnership by the Centre for Family Equity and Dr. Lea Caragata, Director and Associate Professor, UBC School of Social Work. The research project sought to understand how BC’s new child care affordability policies and $10-a-day spaces impact the health and well-being of low-income, lone mothers raising children under six in BC. Making Mothers Matter was a participatory action research project funded by the Vancouver Foundation, with further support from the Health Sciences Association and the Vancity Community Foundation.

In 2021, seven lone mothers with lived experience of poverty and lack of access to child care, some Centre for Family Equity members, and others recruited from the public, were selected to become peer researchers and form a project advisory committee. The advisory committee trained in research design and methodology, determined the research question, and carried out data collection through 2022 and 2023. The diverse group of lone mothers who comprise the advisory committee are in six locations in the province, including Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, Port Alberni, Prince George, and Revelstoke.

This report offers a contextual background, framing our study in current literature regarding lone-mother poverty and the importance of child care in low-income women’s lives in a BC policy context. We follow this by detailing the methodology utilized for this research and sharing our findings, analysis, and discussion. The report concludes with a series of recommendations to improve access to $10-a-day child care for low-income, lone mothers in BC.