Lack of Child Care A Barrier to Women Learners

Cet exposé a été rédigé par le Comité du CCPEF à Halifax pour être présenté au Groupe de travail parlementaire sur la garde des enfants.

L'exposé montre tout d'abord que les services de garderie ne constituent pas simplement un problème pour l'accessibilité des études, mais aussi un problème d'équité pour les femmes. Afin de montrer à quel point il est essentiel d'offrir des services de garderie à un coût raisonnable, accessibles, aux structures souples, l'étude prend l'exemple de quatre femmes qui s'arrangent tant bien que mal pour faire des études tout en s'occupant convenablement de leurs enfants.

Le rapport souligne les désavantages dont souffrent les femmes par suite de la supervision inadéquat et du financement inadéquate des garderies par le secteur public. La discrimination des employeurs envers les femmes, sur le plan des programmes de formation, est un double obstacle: les femmes doivent payer leurs propres programmes de formation et payer en plus la garde de leurs enfants durant cette formation.

En conclusion, l'étude recommande une plus grande prise en charge des garderies par le secteur public, par le biais de la création d'un système universel de garderies.

The Halifax Committee of CCLOW has prepared this brief for presentation to the Parliamentary Committee on Child Care. We are a group of women, many of whom are employed in positions in adult education and have families to raise, and some of whom are studying part-time as well. The time and energy to prepare and present this brief have been obtained by short - changing our families, our employers, our learning requirements, and our rest and relaxation time. The work of researching and writing briefs such as this constitutes a third shift of "employment", often late at night after the day of paid employment and the time spent in unpaid work in the home.


Child care which is affordable, accessible, and flexible is an issue for women's learning. It is also an equality issue. Judge Rosalie Abella noted in the Royal Commission Report, Equality in Employment,

"Without the necessary education and training, members of the designated groups cannot hope to join the economic competition on an equitable basis. It is important to remember that barriers to their access exist at this outer gate and that they are no less formidable than the ones in the main employment arena". (page 175)

Child care for women who are students and trainees is one of these barriers at the "outer gate". To illustrate the nature of this barrier, we would like to share with you some of the frustrations encountered by women we know who have tried to combine the role of learner with their other responsibilities. Consider Lita, a young mother with a severely physically disabled two-year-old son who requires constant attention so that the little mobility he has will not deteriorate. Lita's husband has abandoned her and the child and does not provide regular support payments. Lita has found a job as a data processor, which she knows has a short-term future as well as a very limited income at minimum wage.

To improve her future employability and her financial situation, she decided to make a career change to health records technician. She met all the entry requirements except one: she lacked a science course. At the recommendation of the training school, she enrolled in a night course in biology. Her day now runs eighteen to twenty hours, and she is near exhaustion as she tries to meet all the demands. One of her major worries is finding good care for her child while she is in class in the evenings; the other is finding time to study and do her course work while she juggles responsibility for her son and for her home.

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