Canada Fails Unicef Child Care Ranking, Tied for Last
Canada has tied for last place out of 25 developed nations, as ranked by UNICEF in its child care study. There are 10 proposed benchmarks, Canada failed 9.
The full list of the 10 UNICEF benchmarks:
- Parental leave of one year at 50 per cent of salary
- A national plan with priority for the disadvantaged
- Subsidized and regulated child care services for 25 per cent of children under 3
- Subsidized and accredited early education services for 80 per cent of 4-year-olds
- 80 per cent of all child care staff trained
- 50 per cent of staff in accredited early education services tertiary educated with relevant qualification
- Minimum staff-to-children ratio of 1:15 in pre-school education
- 1 per cent of GDP spent on early childhood services
- Child poverty rate less than 10 per cent
- Near-universal outreach of essential child health services
The only benchmark Canada met was at least 50% of staff in accredited early education services have post-secondary education with relevant qualifications.
"What's happening in Canada didn't surprise us because we know about the inconsistency of care and some of the quality issues and issues around parental leave," UNICEF Canada's Nigel Fisher told CTV's Canada AM on Thursday.
"I think what did surprise us is the comparison, to find we were last."
Fisher said most children are in "unregulated and unaccredited care" so officials can't measure the standards.
"Number one is we need to set standards across the country, those standards need to relate to the training of care-givers," he said.
Sweden managed to meet all 10 standards; Iceland met nine; Denmark, Finland, France met eight; the US and Switzerland met three; and again, Canada met ONE.