August 31, 2016
FREDERICTON (GNB) – The New Brunswick Women’s Council welcomes the Child Care Task Force’s final report and supports many of its recommendations, particularly the call to recognize child care as infrastructure and move existing services toward a system supported by greater public investment.
“Child care – accessible, affordable, high quality child care – is absolutely critical to advancing women’s equality,” said council co-chair Jody Dallaire. “A comprehensive child care system is so foundational to women’s participation in economic and civic life in New Brunswick that we need to think of it as public infrastructure, plain and simple.”
In Oct. 2015, the council provided a submission (under the entity’s previous name, the Voices of New Brunswick Women Consensus-Building Forum) to the task force. The submission outlined various links between child care and women’s equality and recommended child care be treated as infrastructure and receive increased public investment. The council advised that the sector should evolve from its existing patchwork, market-driven context toward a system of accessible, affordable, high-quality care in which staff are better compensated.
The council’s submission also emphasized the strong short- and long-term return on investment that government could expect if it were to increase its financial support of the child care sector.
“Government investment in a child care system is a perfect example of policy that is not only the right thing to do, in terms of advancing women’s equality, but is also a shrewd and savvy investment of public dollars,” said council co-chair Jennifer Richard. “Child care contributes to increasing lifetime earnings and raising families out of poverty — which generates tax revenue — while improving health outcomes and reducing use of social assistance and other public financial support programs.”
The submission also noted that public measures that support work-life balance, such as government investment in a strong child care system, impact individuals’ and families’ decision-making on whether or not to have children and, if so, how many.
The council’s co-chairs will make themselves and council staff available to government as they carefully consider the report.
The council is New Brunswick’s independent advisory body on women’s equality issues. It is mandated to bring issues of importance to women and their substantive equality to the attention of government and the public and to provide independent advice to the government on such issues.
Media contact: Beth Lyons, Executive Director, Voices of NB Women Consensus-Building Forum [email protected] Tel. 506-462-5142