Summary “Why Universal Childcare? ” is a great title for an article such as this one. The question enters the reader into a vast pool of potential answers to the question. First off, what does universal childcare mean? For me, I believe that universal childcare means all around childcare, not only in a general sense, but all over the map childcare. Most people don’t see a problem with childcare in Canada, but it seems as if there are some issues pertaining to the system of childcare in Canada. “In a country of close to five million children of 0-12 years of age, Canada now has
fewer than 900,000 regulated childcare spaces. The percentage of children for whom a space is available increased only to 17. 5 percent about a 10 percent increase over the past fifteen years”. (Prentice, 2009, p. 1). A frequent problem most organizations/programs run into is often funding the programs. Without funding, the programs usually suffer and do not meet the maximum amount of care and quality that it should be able to meet. Along with this, the childhood educators/childcare providers may be undertrained. “The quality of the care is frequently troubling: limited public financing forces programs to operate as
cheaply as possible, and requirements for programs are low. The early childhood educators who provide the care are underpaid and often undertrained. Overall, Canada’s early childhood education and care situation suffers from chronic neglect. ” (Prentice, 2009, p. 1). Another reason why this situation may come across as shocking to most people, is because Canada is an extremely wealthy country, so you could expect Canada to have a very strong childcare programs. Childcare programs are always changing, they have changed drastically in the last few years, most
programs are now looking for ways to interpret ways of learning and more social support for children. “ECEC (Early Childcare Education and Care) is about an integrated and coherent approach to policy. It is about providing care that includes all children and all children regardless of employment or socio-economic status. ” (Prentice, 2009, p. 4). Integrating social support and learning into these childcare programs will expand the knowledge and adaptability of children when entering their later childhood educations. The history of childcare helps explain why today childcare programs are poorly put together.
“The origins of childcare were in philanthropy and benevolence. From the mid- nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century, most of what we know today as childcare programs were provided by educational, philanthropic, or religious organizations, often led by prominent women. ” (Prentice, 2009, p. 71). Women were the ones who normally ran the childcare centers, but as we see today, women are entering the paid workforce. The governments did not play a role back then, hence they did not play a part in the responsibility.
Today, we count on the government to help fund and organize these programs, which is still a developing task. After World War II, the federal government stopped funding childcare. This lead out into outbursts which lead to : The Day of Nurseries Act, which became Canada’s first provincial legislation.
This lead to the number of childcare programs expanding. We saw a leading change in childcare happen in 2006, when the Harper Conservatives made childcare one of their five leading promises. “In the 2006 election the Harper Conservatives made childcare one of their five leading promises”. (Prentice, 2009, p. 84. ). Unfortunately, what was promised to parents never happened.
Childcare disappeared in importance. How were parents supposed to trust anyone with their ‘childcare money’? “Following the cancellation of the national childcare plan, childcare space expansion showed the smallest increase in regulated child care in some years: an increase of only 26,661 spaces since 2006. ” (Prentice, 2009, p. 86). The author is trying to show the reader the importance of history, and how the little things contribute to how childcare as a whole has developed over the years. Also, the importance of funding programs for childcare.