A Decade of Turbulence and Mismatch—Changing Child Care Policies in Changing Economic Times in the Canadian Context

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 3:00 PM
Room: 304
Oral Presentation
Patrizia ALBANESE , Sociology, Canadian Sociological Association, Canada
This paper brings together findings from two studies that I have been working on that focus on child care in Canada. The first study (with Professor Rauhala in Ryerson’s School of Journalism) 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 mothers and child care providers are virtually absent from policy discussions. The second study involves interviews with mothers and child care providers in two policy jurisdictions, with two very different approaches to child care--in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in Canada. This paper provides a look at the impact of the rise of women’s non-standard, service sector employment on gender roles, identities and relations, and compares the complex task of creating and managing formal and informal non-parental childcare in rural and semi-rural communities in two policy jurisdictions (Provinces of Ontario and Quebec). It seeks to understand the ways in which the neo-liberal reconfiguration of local economies impact on the experiences of employed, non-urban women with young children – mitigated by provincial policy decisions – through documenting the strategies mothers adopt to cope with new and increasing challenges when managing this family-market-state nexus. This paper focuses on some of the unique challenges some rural mothers encounter and the strategies they develop to manage their changing child care needs. It also shows how absent these realities are from the coverage of child care in Canadian newspapers.