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Why good child care? Parental employment

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Supporting parents in employment, education, training and the parenting role

Women in Canada are in the labour force for two main reasons. The first on these is the increased financial pressure on families across the economic spectrum. The second reason is the societal shift in ideas about appropriate roles for women. Whatever the motivation, dependable care for young children is essential if mothers who would traditionally have been expected to provide it are in the labour force, training or education.

Without the availability of affordable reliable ECEC, women may be forced to stay out of the paid labour force, to work at poorly paid part-time employment, or not to take advancement. Some women - especially single mothers - are forced to depend on social assistance and into poverty. In this way, the absence of adequate child care contributes to exclusion from the labour force and to marginalization through poverty and unemployment. Thus, ECEC services are essential for reducing family poverty by permitting parents to participate in training, education and employment. Without adequate care for their children, poor families may never be able to escape poverty through education and employment.

Reliable ECEC is also important in helping parents (especially women) balance work and family responsibilities. Difficulty balancing work and family responsibilities contributes to family stress and most of the burden for juggling these falls on women. While ECEC services are not the sole remedy for
reducing family stress, they are part of the solution to balancing work and family.

ECEC services also support parents in their parenting role through parent involvement, parenting, networking, modelling and other parent support resources.

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