Campaign 2000 has released its annual Report Card on Child and Family Poverty, No One Left Behind: Strategies for an Inclusive Recovery.
Child Care Now fully endorses the recommendations and stands alongside Campaign 2000 and other advocates calling on the 44th Canadian Parliament to “take immediate and bold action to eradicate child poverty”.
Using data from 2019, Campaign 2000 found that 1 in 5, or 1,313,400, children in Canada are currently living in poverty. In 1989, Parliament unanimously adopted a resolution to end child poverty by the year 2000.
Child poverty has declined in some parts of Canada but increased in others. The Canada Child Benefit is not adequate in lifting children and families out of poverty, particularly those living in deep poverty. The rate of poverty for children under age six is 18.5%, higher than any other age group. Of course poverty during the critical years has lifelong implications.
The report says building a system of accessible, affordable, high quality, and culturally appropriate early learning and child care is key to reducing poverty and preventing some of the damage. Parents and especially mothers with young children would be able to enter the workforce and children would be provided with developmentally appropriate activities and food.
Campaign 2000 also recommends other necessary infrastructures including affordable decent housing, and publicly insured and available health care including prescription drug coverage and dental care. Also access to decent, properly compensated work is essential.