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Day 1: Child care challenges ahead

Following a welcome and land acknowledgement by sociologist, Canada Research Chair and the SSHRC grant PI Andrea Doucet, the first day of the symposium was structured by four topical panels, each starting with the presentations by the panelists and followed by a Q&A. Susan Prentice, Duff Roblin Professor of Government & Sociology, University of Manitoba, one of the event’s organizers, moderated the panels and the participant discussion.

A highlight of the symposium’s first day was a mid-day address by the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. Minister Gould reinforced the need for all of us to work collaboratively to build a Canada-wide ELCC system, calling it a "nation-building project.”

Note: Click on the presentation titles to access presentation slides in PDF format.

Panel 1: Indigenous perspectives on building an ELCC system

  1. Inuit Nunangat and the Inuit early learning and child care landscape by Amy Graham (Senior Policy Advisor, Inuit Tapirat Kanatami)

  2. Métis early learning and child care by Sharlene Wedel (Senior Director of Education and ELCC, Métis National Council)

  3. Indigenous rights and distinction-based approach (presentation slides not available) by Karen Isaac (Executive Director at BC Aboriginal Child Care Society) 

Panel 2: Making ELCC truly affordable for families

  1. Child care fees vs. targets in 2022 by David Macdonald (Senior Economist, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives)
  2. The Canada-wide ELCC agreements and affordability by Jane Beach (Independent child care researcher)
  3. $10aDay Child Care campaign in British Columbia by Lynell Anderson (Public Policy Researcher, Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC)

Panel 3: Expanding availability of regulated child care

  1. Availability and expansion of ELCC services: What’s needed? by Martha Friendly (Executive Director, Childcare Resources and Research Unit)
  2. Expansion of regulated child care spaces: Insights from Québec by Sophie Mathieu (Senior Program Specialist, Vanier Institute of the Family)
  3. Expansion of regulated child care spaces by Christine McLean (Associate Professor, Mount Saint Vincent University, Nova Scotia)

Panel 4: Addressing the child care workforce crisis

  1. Pan-Canadian ELCC system building: The education of early childhood educators by Christopher Smith (Associate Executive Director, Muttart Foundation)
  2. Working conditions and retention by Jane Beach (Independent child care researcher)
  3. Worth more: Making decent work and pay in child care a priority by Carolyn Ferns (Public Policy and Government Relations Coordinator, Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care)

Day 2: Child care policy refresh

On the second day of the symposium, attendees participated in a lively plenary discussion on the four draft policy propositions, facilitated by Vicky Smallman, President of the Child Care Now board and National Director of Women’s and Human Rights, Canadian Labour Congress.

The participants were invited to reflect on four draft policy propositions and share their feedback or suggestions during facilitated conversations on the following draft policy propositions:

  1. Child care should be supported by full and sufficient public operational funding
  2. Timely expansion of early learning and child care in a public universal system is critical.
  3. The child care workforce is the keystone to successful implementation of the universal child care system.
  4. Legislation is a key tool for building a universal early learning and child care system.

Please note that these policy propositions were draft – to be discussed and were not finalized. Rather they will be the basis of ongoing discussion as the child care movement and allies collaborate to develop next steps in implementing a Canada-wide child care system.  


Wed, 07/06/2022