Social Democracy

Solving the Parent Trap: Ideas on Education and Childcare during COVID

Ideas on Education and Childcare during COVID

Those with young and school-aged children are caught in an anxiety-inducing parent trap. Parents are having sleepless nights fearing for their jobs while also being worried about the health and well-being of their kids. But we argue that it shouldn’t be this way. Solving the Parent Trap is a policy series on transforming childcare and education featuring ideas from Janet Davis, Nigel Barriffe, Marit Stiles, Beyhan Fahardi and Maria Dobrinskaya and edited by Katrina Miller and Brittany Andrew-Amofah.

Katrina Miller, Program Director

As a single mother, my two children have been my constant concern during this pandemic. I’ve seen them lose the connections and routines that make them healthy and whole. I’ve been so very fortunate to work fulltime during the pandemic, but I’m left feeling that I don’t have enough time to be with my kids and help replace all that has fallen away in their lives. Now more than ever, it’s time to see raising healthy whole kids as a common goal and create the proper and safe schooling, activities, and supports families need.

Brittany Andrew-Amofah, Senior Policy and Research Analyst

As a woman with no kids, this moment has made me realize the blind spots I had when it came to fully understanding the scope and importance of a safe school re-opening, and at large the significant role—I know theoretically— that education and childcare plays in all of our lives. Parents are right to be frustrated over the lack of a plan and it is important for us all to take stock. I listened and learned from my mom friends, about their struggles, and to radio interviews and podcasts on the matter. A safe school re-opening directly impacts and benefits us all and it is an opportunity to implement lasting good policies. The health and safety of children across the country should always be a priority; and is a necessary step forward to equal, fair and just recovery for us all.


Solving the Parent Trap series reading list:

Economic Recovery: Getting it Right for Women.
Janet Davis, Former Toronto City Councillor. August 26, 2020.

BC’s Universal Child-care Program Is A Powerful Economic Stimulus Tool.
Maria Dobrinskaya, BC Director of the Broadbent Institute. September 1, 2020.

Beyond the Fight for Safe Schools.
Marit Stiles, Member of Provincial Parliament in Ontario. September 2, 2020.

Getting it Right: Online Learning in Public Schools.
Beyhan Farhadi, PhD, Postdoctoral Visitor in the Faculty of Education at York University. September 3, 2020.

The importance of a seamless day for working-class families.
Nigel Barriffe, MA. Executive Officer with the Elementary Teachers of Toronto and President of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations. September 4, 2020.

The Missing Money Our Schools Need Now: Educational Development Charges in Toronto.
Research co-sponsored by the Broadbent InstituteFix Our SchoolsProgress TorontoSeptember 22, 2020.