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Calgary project aims to help working immigrant women with off-hours daycare

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Chatha, Aaron
Publication Date: 
16 Aug 2015



The Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association is working a new project to help immigrant women in the fast food industry move into management roles.

The hope is to remove one of the biggest barriers these women face: finding adequate childcare while working non-traditional hours.

“Providing childcare outside of traditional hours, in a way that works for the women and families, has been a longstanding issue,” said Joan Chernoff, manager of employment services at the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association.

“As it stands, to move into a management position requires a greater sense of flexibility and availability in their scheduling,” added Eleah Reimer, project coordinator.

Reimer is working with Thornhill Child Care Society to develop childcare models for the early morning and late evening, to be used by childcare centres in a pilot program.

“We’re hoping when offering these models of childcare, that mothers will be able to find the childcare easily accessible, so they can make themselves more available to their work schedule,” Reimer said.

They are planning to launch a pilot program in 2016. The focus is on the fast-food industry as it offers a number of entry-level jobs, especially for women who are newcomers to the country.

“Traditionally, the mother typically carries the weight of the children, their needs and finding childcare,” said Chernoff. “In the case of immigrant women working Calgary, who face even more barriers, we are curious to see if this would create less barriers to move up in their field.”

Currently, the organization is scouting locations, talking to focus groups and gathering information to launch the pilot program.

What is the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association?

CIWA is a non-profit organization that was established as a registered charity in Calgary in 1982.

It describes itself as a "culturally diverse settlement agency that recognizes, responds to, and focuses on the unique concerns and needs of immigrant and refugee women, girls and their families."

Over the past 33 years, CIWA helped more than 80,000 immigrant women make the transition to life in Canada.

It currently offers 40 programs that aid women with settlement and integration, literacy and language training, employment support and bridging programs, family violence, parenting, individual counselling, in-home support, civic engagement, health, housing and community development.

Its programs and services are offered at more than 134 locations around the city.

-reprinted from Metro News Calgary

Entered Date: 
19 Aug 2015
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