The Women’s Centre has been working to advocate for social and economic policies that reflect the realities and experiences of women in Calgary. Through ongoing events and consultation, women have consistently identified accessible, affordable, quality child care as a priority. The Social Policy Committee organized a Child Care Round Table to connect with our partners and work for change on this issue.
We heard about the struggles to access childcare and the great initiatives taking place in our communities. One woman shared her story of trying to find appropriate care for her children, and is now also involved in a citizen initiative mapping project in Dover – Erin Woods. After banding together a few months ago at a Dover child care roundtable and seeing a serious need, community members asked, ‘What can we do to create change?’ Now neighbours are connecting with women who have training but can’t find work, finding women who need access to child care but can’t find spaces, and generally finding the resources and needs of their community.
Participants also heard from Julie Hrdlicka about what role the province plays in availability, affordability and quality, while Janet Eremenko from Vibrant Communities Calgary talked about what the challenges are here in the city. Janet discussed different collaborations that could be strengthened – public & private partnerships, working with city social workers, community hubs, and the potential responsibility businesses have.
As a group we were able to develop recommendations and strategies for engagement on this important issue. A full report will be coming out of this event, so check back for updates.
In the meantime, check out the issue, the solution and the impacts of the lack of accessible, affordable, quality childcare in this brief from the Social Policy Committee, and below: