DAY CARE AND THE CANADIAN SCHOOL SYSTEM: A CEA SURVEY OF CHILD CARE SERVICES IN SCHOOLS
Volume 11 Number 5.
In 1980 women represented over forty per cent of the Canadian work force, yet they earned, on the average, only sixty per cent of the salaries men commanded. Almost forty per cent of the working women in Ontario are heads of households. Given these economic constraints, it is little wonder that providing economically accessible and physically convenient day care is a concern. Traditionally, child care has taken some form of private home or nursery school arrangement. Increased demands have been made to improve not only the quantity but also the variety of day care options, such as work place or community school settings. Day Care and the Canadian School System examines one of these options, beyond that fact, one wonders why it was published. The validity of the findings is questioned when the authors outline the sample from which their data was collected. Only boards subscribing to the CEA Information Services, or, with a student population in excess of five thousand were surveyed, effectively eliminating responses from many small centres where the school is the focal point of the community and from boards that do not have a vested interest in CEA findings. The tables provided do not indicate the number of respondents and no attempt is made, graphically or textually, to reconcile the fact that the totals do not tally. The report admits that there is the greatest involvement in school-housed day care in Toronto, which has long been known for its innovative alternative programs, and in Quebec, where legislation authorizes schools to act as out-of-school-hours centres. The legal and financial status of day care in each province is examined in eight pages. Twenty per cent of the monograph is devoted to sample policies, three from Ontario boards, two from Quebec and one from Saskatchewan. A copy of the questionnaire is included.
Although the cost is minimal, funds would be better spent on a more general text such as Johnson and Dineen's The Kin Trade,* or even Clarke-Stewart's Daycare from Harvard University Press's The Developing Child series. This survey might be marginally useful in an early childhood education program, but the samples were so limited and the results so inconclusively presented that further research would be more beneficial.
* Reviewed vol. X/l 1982 p.13.
Donna Kenwell, Burford D. H. S., Burford, ON.
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