A DECADE OF DISCONNECTION: CHILD CARE POLICIES IN CHANGING ECONOMIC TIMES IN THE CANADIAN CONTEXT
This article brings together findings from two studies that focus on child care in Canada. The first maps the coverage of child care over the first decade of the 21st century in four Canadian daily newspapers. It shows that the voices of children, mothers, and child care providers are virtually absent from policy discussions. The second study, which remedies the parental invisibility identified by the first study, relies on interviews with mothers of young children in two jurisdictions with distinctive approaches to child care – the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec. This article looks at the impact on gender roles, identities, and relations of the rise in women’s non-standard, service-sector employment and compares the complex task of creating and managing formal and informal non-parental child care in rural and semi-rural communities in the two policy jurisdictions (Ontario and Quebec). It seeks to understand the ways in which the neo-liberal reconfiguration of local economies affects the experiences of employed, non-urban women with young children – mitigated or exacerbated by provincial policy – through documenting the strategies that mothers adopt to face new, increasing challenges when negotiating this family-market-state nexus. This paper focuses on unique challenges some rural mothers encounter and the strategies they develop to address their changing child care needs. It also shows how absent these realities are from the coverage of child care in Canadian newspapers. The paper argues that high quality child care should be a national priority for healthy child development and better family outcomes.
Copyright (c) 2015 Patrizia Albanese, and Ann Rauhala
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