2000 – 2014

2000- Canada Carers Canada was established in 2000 to advocate for the role and value of family caregivers.  The Ontario Caregiver Organization supports 3.3 million people in that province who provide care to a family member or friend.

2000 – Canada-  Dr. Shelley Phipps of Dalhousie University  studying family policy in Europe notes that in most countries there, maternity and parental benefits are not thought of as in Canada, as linked to labor market programs but are funded as a social benefit.

2000-  Chile- older women are official recognized for their unpaid contributions to the family

2000- Finland- single mothers  not receiving child support get publicly funded advance maintenance payments. 

2000- Germany –maternity benefits to go all new mothers not tied to paid labor force participation

2000- Jamaica – Ministerial Meeting on Children and Social Policy in the Americas – the fifth session – Kingston Consensus – agreement to improve well-being of children it he Americas

.

2000- Wages for Housework and the Women Count Network organize European Latin American, African and American groups to take part in a Global Women’s Strike on March 8.  60 organizations take part.

2000- Netherlands provides a lone mother on welfare with 7% of an average worker’s wage.

2000- In Canada an Angus Reid poll finds that 77% of Canadians want parents not the state to provide care of children

2000- US- Bright Horizons Family Solutions, a large childcare chain, goes international, acquiring a London chain.

2000- Canada’s child care expense deduction for daycare users has increased to $7000 a year and has been extended to age 16. Parents at home get $207 a year to age 7.

2000- Canadian birth rate is 1.4

2000- US- married couples previously got fewer  tax deductions if they filed tax forms jointly. In 2000  however that marriage tax penalty is removed and they also can claim deductions

2000- The Canadian government funds an early childhood development accord with the provinces and territories, promising funding to many organizations but none to families directly

2000- Maternity benefits in Canada are extended to one year but only for women with 300 hours of paid income the preceding year.

2000- Sweden gives a lone mother on welfare 109% of the average worker wage.

2000 -US -Dana Mack writes “the Assault on Parenthood” saying there are huge social and economic pressures that compel women to do paid work despite their overwhelming desire to spend time with their children

2001 – Germany- a Kia Card voucher is given so parents can choose the child care arrangement they prefer and this works as an individual grant

2001- Belgium – parents can deduct some costs of care of children incurred in the home not just in 3rd party care

2001- The European Observatory on Family Matters notes that Norway now provides a cash subsidy to parents at home, and that Belgium allows parents to deduct some expenses not incurred at daycares

2001- UNICEF study of the State of the World’s Children notes the declining birth rate in many western industrialized nations. It repeats UN goals of empowering parents and other caregivers, developing national child and family policies that allow parents increased time to meet their childrearing responsibilities and that encourage family-given childcare.

2001- US – Margarettea D’Arcy of Ireland, Theresa Funiciello of Social Agenda US and  advocates for Welfare Mothers met in Milwaukee to urge recognition and pay for caregivers.

2001 – UK – the census reveals that 6 million people provide unpaid care to a relative, friend or neighbor due to old age, disability or illness. The census estimated that a third of all adults in the UK would at some point in their lives be caregivers. It is estimated that carers save the UK economy 87 billion pounds per year.

2001- US-  President Bush proposes a partially refundable  child tax credit of up to $600 per child rising to $1000 per child by 2010. It is for low income homes.

2001- Europe – the European Observatory on Family Matters reports that Norway now provides a cash subsidy to parents at home and Belgium allows parents to deduct some expenses not incurred at daycares.

2001-  Canada -the Provincial Child Care survey finds that over half of daycares in BC have vacancies so not all parents use or seek that care style.

2001- Australia has a birth rate of 1.73.  It later embarks on a baby bonus of $5,000 per child per year.

2001- Canada’s child tax benefit which was $595 per child in 1991 is reduced to $162 per child and further reduced based on household income

2001- Finland provides a 3 year cash benefit for home-based care and the home care allowance is 40% of an average monthly wage. It also funds free daycare for children under age 3.  By 2004 it also lets family provided daycare in the home be registered as private daycare.

2001- Canada – Basic personal exemption continues to be higher than the spousal deduction federally but the provinces of Alberta, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and Quebec have made the two amounts equal. This is seen by some observers as recognizing the caregiver spouse as a full person.

2001- Canada-the Child Tax Benefit which has been reduced from the 1991 level of $595 per child to $162 per child, is also reduced from that level based on household not individual income of caregiver. By 2002 the level at which the reduction of benefits starts is also made sooner, for households earning $23,500 from an earlier $26,330.

2001- Estonia, Latvia, Georgia, Lithuania, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia and the Ukraine all have a single rate tax.

2001 – Scotland – The census estimates that 481,570 people are caregivers and that those who provide over 20 hours of care a week are at the ‘heavy’ end’ of caring.  Most of this care is provided without financial support or support from health agencies and tends to be ‘hidden’ or ‘invisible’

2001- Canada -the Law Commission of Canada writes a report : Beyond Conjugality” urging governments to not consider official marriage and conjugality so significantly in tax law. The case is made that income splitting would discourage women from having to earn money so is not a good idea. . Some commentators on the report say it amounts to social engineering to tell people how to live.

2001- African Committee on the Rights and Welfare of the Child is established by African Union Commission

2002- Special Session on Children – reviews progress since the 1990 world summit. A few children are chosen to speak to the session themselves

2002- Canada – Because of individual based tax, equally earning households continue to pay vastly different tax rates. Chartered accountant Heather Gore-Hickman finds that on a household income of $60,000, the couple earning $30,000 and $30,000 pays least tax. The household earning $36,000 and $24,000 pays $293 more in tax. The household earning $60,000 with one earner pays $2507 more in tax, or a 42% higher rate, based solely on earning style.

2002- Canada -Maternity benefits are only for women who did 600 paid hours of work the previous year

2002- Canada- Alberta extends its widow’s pension to divorced women aged 55-66 who are in poverty. The benefit however is scaled back in 2004.

2002 – UK – economist Susan Himmelweit notes that conventional economics only sees work as paid employment but finds that policies nudging people to do paid work instead of care roles do not always get public endorsement.

2002- Health Canada finds that 2% of Canadians provide care of a friend, family member or neighbor who has a mental illness

2002- Canada – Kids Company Ltd. is set up in Toronto as a  childcare service offered primarily to companies not individuals – the company can then claim its daycare as a hiring perk. By 2013 the company operates 50 centres in Canada with over 1000 employees with options of date night care of kids, drop-in and part-time as well as full-time care options. Company annual revenue is over $50 million.

2002-Australia offers a universal baby bonus, and in 2004 raises its amount to $3,000 and in 2007 to $4,000 per child, paid in a lump sum. The goal is to address a low fertility rate of 1.1. In 2004 a birth bonus of $2,000 is given for each newborn.

2002- Canada – a childcare benefit is given to parents both those who use daycare and those who are at home. but daycare users get additional funds. Single parents get additional supplements.

2002 –Hamburg Germany creates a KIA card voucher to let parents use whatever type of child care they prefer, including care in the home.  Austria adopts a similar program with benefits flowing with the child. The movements are a response to the dropping birth rate and to survey results that parents want choices in child-rearing

2003- Singapore- offers a baby bonus of $9,000 for a second child and $18,000 for a third, paid over 6 years to defray costs of raising children

2003 – US – the $300 per child per year tax credit for children has been increased to extend to more than low income families and has been expanded to $1,000 per child per year for children under age 17. It adds bonuses for single parents and adopted children. Social Agenda announces the success of its lobby campaign to pressure government to make this move.  The benefit is at first limited to those earning over $26,000 and is later extended to those earning $10,000 or over.

2003- Ireland -Women in the home mobilize for rights. The group Women in the Home has over 500,000 members, over 1/8 of the population of the country.

2003 -The French Association of Caregivers is established to represent 8 million carers. It seeks to recognize the role, be part of legislative discussions and promotes best practices in caregiving.

2003- a Canadian Senate study about children invites targeted stakeholders to meetings, consults with 600 organizations and individuals in closed-door sessions. preferentially including those who provide or use 3rd party childcare.  Few members of the public are invited.

2003- EUROSTAT proposes ways to measure household production and consumption in official tallies to make their role more visible in the economy

2004 – The International Alliance of Carer Organizations forms a global partnership to recognize the ‘essential role of carers’.

2004 – Bulgaria- the World Bank funds care of children outside of institutions in order to address higher rates of child abandonment and high costs of institutionalized care

2004 – Sweden- group ratios in childcare reach level s of 14-1 for 1-3 year olds, 19 to one for 3-5 year olds and 18 to one for mixed age groups. 

2004 – The Population Reference Bureau of the US notes that though the 2002 birth rates in the 3rd world were 3.3-3.8 births per second, those in the developed nations were well below replacement level, at 0.4 births per second.

2004- Europe- a committee called FEMM  unites 28 nations to value unpaid labor.  Anna Zaborska says forcing women at home to live in extreme poverty violates human rights and urges governments to recognize unpaid work and give homemakers access to pensions.

2004 – Canada- advocacy for preferential funding for daycare continues. Campaign 2000 says that universal daycare will being an end to child poverty.

2004 – Bulgaria- the World Bank funds care of children outside of institutions in order to address high rates of child abandonment and high costs of institutionalized care

2004- Canada -the province of Quebec spends $1.4 billion a year to subsidize 190,000 daycare spaces. Per child this subsidy is $15,000 a year.  The system has chronic staffing problems. It admits that the $7 a day it charges parents is subsidized per child by taxpayers at $38 a day.

2004- US announces a savings account of $500 per child at birth

2004 – Canada -The National Longitudinal Survey of Children and
Youth finds that only 12% of Canadian children under age 12 were in 3rd party daycare and even in Quebec with low cost daycare, only 21% of children were using the service. Overall in Canada of children under age 5 years, 51% were in parental care, 17% were in care by relatives, 16% were in 3rd party care and 10% were in a regulated daycare. 

2004- The Canadian Labour Congress promotes funding 3rd party daycare preferentially to enable women to participate in the ‘workforce’

2004- Canada – in Alberta the disabled can access home care paid for by the state as long as the caregiver is not a family member

2004  Health Canada issues a public warning that several anti-depressants now prescribed for children and teenagers should be reassessed.  The seven drugs belong to the classes of drugs called selective serontonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin noradrenaline reputake inhibitors (SNRIs).  More than 11 million US children are currently being described these drugs and it is estimated that Canadian usage rates are also high.  Dr. David Healy of the North Wales Department of Psychological Medicine says that the new generation of anti-depressants has been linked to 2,000-7,000 suicides. and is critical of the high volume of prescriptions written for such drugs for children’s use. In December Britain bans six of these drugs over such concerns. Dr. Healy says such drugs have a place for adults but their use for children requires much more careful scrutiny.

2004 Canada – Dr Gabor Mate expresses concern that recent episodes of violence among Canadian youth suggest a growing emotional detachment, saying behind every violent act is pent-up frustration of not having essential needs satisfied. Mate believes that economic pressure for both parents to work outside the home deprives children of the active presence of key adult connections for much of the day and that peer groups may step up to fill the void with sometimes disastrous results

2005 UK – Liz Attenborough of the National Literary Trust publishes a study called “Talk to Your Baby”saying that in earlier times it was a rare child who had language development problems in grade one but that nowadays such problems are more  common.  She is concerned about the busy lives of parents, the high use of TV and radio used to substitute for actual conversation,

2005 US . In 1993 the National Network for Child Care established a list of medical conditions for which children should be excluded from daycare. These include vomiting over twice a day, strep throat, chicken pox, uncontrolled diarrhea, head lice, impetigo, measles, mumps, , pinworm, pink eye, scabies, rubella, shingles, red eyes, rash and fever, sore throat, earache, headache, itchy scalp or yellow nasal discharge  The list revealsthat children enrolled in daycare will often be not able to attend there and that parents will be obliged to make other care plans.

2005 Canada -Dr. Jacques  Cote of Queen’s University studies elite sports players of finding they often come from rural centers, not big cities. Despite the theory that the big cities would provide more opportunities the research suggests that something about a small town fosters genuine love of the sport. Cote speculates that in informal play settings, kids learn skills for multi-aged groupings, and benefit from the casual not overly organized settings.

2005  US -Dr. Heather W. Allen examines homeschooling.  The numbers of students getting their schooling at home totals over 2 million in the US, 95,000 in Canada, 55,000 in Australia, 6,000 in New Zealand, 5,000 in South Africa, 1,000 in South Korea, 800 in Japan, 600 in Germany, 500 in France and many children are also  being homeschooled in Brazil, Poland, Kenya and Bulgaria.   Some nations ban homeschooling.

2005 Canada, – Dr. Esme Fuller-Thomson of Toronto studies the phenomenon of grandparents raising their own grandchildren in households where the parent is not present. In 1996 there were 27,000 grandparents doing so, a number that has increased 20% since 1991. 59% of the grandparents in skip-generation families are female, 17% are of first nations background. 57% have no other paid employment.  33% of grandparents in such households have a disability and about one third have a household income under $15,000. Grandmothers were more than twice as likely to provide over 60 hours of unpaid childcare per week as were grandfathers.  The trend parallels a similar one in the US where numbers of such households have gone up 31% between 1990 and 1997.

2005 Canada – Dr. Zopito Marini of Brock University studies7000 high school students in Ontario and roots of bullying behavior. He finds a strong correlation between lack of parental involvement in the child’s life and the tendency of the child to become a bully.  The report finds that lack of parental involvement is often inked to delinquency.

2005 US – Dr. Juliet B. Schor, sociologist studies how consumerism affects children and families. She looked at 300 children aged 10 to 13 with a lengthy questionnaire about their attitudes and lifestyles and found among some, already  a high level concern about clothes, obsession with wealth, desire to spend a lot of time on TV and video games.  Those who did not care about consumer culture had less depression and anxiety, fewer psychosomatic complaints and higher self-esteem. 

2005 US-  Dr. Suniya Luthar of Columbia University releases results of a study comparing teens in a wealthy New York City suburb with teens in the inner city.  Though the average household income for the wealthy was over $130,000 US per year, teens in those homes had an average consumption of cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana and hard drugs higher than did those in poorer homes.  Dr. Luthar  found that the incidence of wealthy teenage girls showing signs of clinical depression was 3 times the national average and at least one in 10 of the wealthy teens was doing poorly in school and showing classic signs of juvenile delinquency.

2005 – US -Daycare chains are expanding. Knowledge Learning Corporation operates 1300 child care centers in the US (750 community based, 90 employer based, 450 school partnerships)  Mulberry Child Care Centers has many administrative levels including  teacher, assistant teacher, lead teacher (staff supervisor),  assistant director, center director, regional director, bookkeeper/clerk and cooks.  Bright Horizons says it is the world’s leading provider of employer sponsored child care, early education and work/life consulting services, managing over 550 early care and education centers in the US, Europe and Canada It serves over 400 companies including over 80 Fortune 500 companies.  La Petite Academy operates 645 early childhood education centers  including 587 free-standing operations, 29 early learning centers, 29 Montessori Unlimited schools, and 80 private kindergartens. It has 13,000 employees.  La Petite Academy has teachers and staff accountants, field auditors and senior business systems analysts  Blackstocks Development Corporation has wholly owned subsidiaries of Kids Connection Corp and Tiny Tots, Inc.  KinderCare operates over 1250 learning centres serving 120,000 children between ages 6 weeks and 12 years.

2005 – France- the state adopts a birth grant policy of $1060 per month for a year to parents of a 3rd child, plus offering a permanent monthly allowance of $373 for that child as well as $614 a moth for each of the first two

2005 A Swedish group called Foreningen Barnens Ratt Till Foraldrarnas Tid -Association for the Right of Children to their Parents lodges an official complaint at the UN that that nation’s laws violate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The claim is made that in Sweden children are pressured to use state-run daycare and are denied the right to time with the parent.

2005  Sweden- in response to a complaint a the UN about tax laws favoring daycare use and discouraging at home parenting, two counties, Ncka and Solentuna agree to pay parents to provide care of their children at the rate of 5590 SEK per month for those 1-2 years old and 4350 SEK per month for those 3-5 years old.  In Sweden the state pays about 9,400 SEK per month for children in daycare.

2005- UK- a website network is established called Full Time Mothers to pressure government to increase maternity pay and value at home care of children as well as daycare.   Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt says mothers at home have been undervalued for too long

2005- A Canadian daycare activist says that a national childcare system to fund universal daycare would require a doubling of current federal spending.  Some estimates are that a universal daycare system would cost $12 billion a year, up fromgovernment spending currently under $5 billion.  Estimates of cost vary with some suggesting that 1% of the GDP should go to daycare.  One advocacy report suggests that funding from the state for such care should be $8593 per year for 3-5 year olds and $14,604 per year, for babies and toddlers

2005- US – Fortune Magazine finds that 90% of companies ranked best to work for have made some accommodation for career-family balance.  Those with flex time, job sharing and on-site daycare are highly ranked.

2005- Canada – Advocates for universal childcare argue that it will be highly educational. Prime Minister Paul Martin says that his government is investing in life-long learning “so Canadians can keep one step ahead of the curve”

2005 –  US -Three large for-profit childcare chains unite under Knowledge Learning Corporation

2005- Australia’s large private childcare chain ABC Learning Centers Limited acquires a large US chain

2005 – Flemish Family Association lobbies government to provide tax breaks for those raising children, including low insurance rates, store discounts on baby supplies

2005 France pays $1060 a year to parents of  a 3rd child plus a monthly allowance of $373 for that child and $614 a month for the first two children. It also reduces railways fares for large families

2005-  Canada – Medical labs often have a staff turnover rate of 90%. However BC. Biomedical Laboratories lets its mostly female paid workforce adjust their hours to meet their personal needs and it has a staff turnover rate of 6%.

2005 – Canada -Asgovernment promises to fund preferentially more daycare for kids, rallies are held in 17 cities to protest, asking for funding also for care of children at home. The government falls and the new Conservative government promises funding for parents at home also.

2006 – United Arab Emirates – some women get the right to vote

2006 – Belgium- the Flemish Family Association operates a  huge organization with 300,000 members helping families get lower cost of service, low rate insurance, babysitter services, and lobbying government for tax breaks for families

2006 – France- France’s birth rate goes up to 1.9 after it pays parents $375 per month per child and gies a universal $1200 baby bonus for a third child. 

2006 – Germany – Chancellor Angela Merkel announces plans to give birth incentives to women to address the birth rate of only 1.3. 

2006- Canada introduces a universal child benefit . By 2015 it is expanded to $160 a month per child to age 6 and then $60 a month from ages 8-17. It is taxable. Daycare users get this plus subsidies for daycare.

2006- Chile- women are given pensions for their caregiving roles

2006-  US -There are now many for profit childcare centers.The largest, Knowledge Learning Corporation has 2454 centres with a capacity total of 256,000.  In addition several national chains offer franchising opportunities.

2006- Canada – Ipsos Reid surveys Western Canadians and finds that 61% of parents worry they do not spend enough time with their children. 87% said they did not have time to do everything they want to do and 68% felt bunt out by their busy schedules.

2006- OECD finds that for children aged 0-2 years around the world hours spent in 3rd party care vary on average from a low of  17 hours a week in the Netherlands to highs of 34 hours per week in Denmark, 35 in Poland and Finland, 36 in Iceland, and 40 in Portugal. Many children under 2 years old spend 7 hours per weekday away from the parent.

2006- Romania gives a maternity grant to every new mother

2006- Sweden – government finds that costs of providing universal daycare and other social programs necessitated raising taxes. The government fell from power.

2006 – The International Network for Unpaid Caregiving is established at a meeting for UN delegates and non-delegates of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York City The group promotes unpaid caregiving labor.

2007 – US – a 2007 survey on family caregiving found that those who provide unpaid care are committed to the role but experience high demands from it.  

2007-OECD documents about family policy define work only as paid roles. Women at home are deemed to not work.

2007-OECD countries vary in total of paid maternity and parental leave from a low of  0 weeks in the US, 6 weeks in New Zealand to highs of 47.4 weeks in Norway, 46.1 weeks in Slovakia, 62.4 weeks in Sweden, 52.7 weeks in Finland, 64 weeks in the Czech Republic, 89.6 weeks in Hungary.

2007- OECD – Some member countries offer paternity leave. It varies from 0.4 weeks or just a few days in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria to 5. 7 weeks in Finland, 6 weeks in Norway and 9.3 weeks in Sweden.

2008- European Commission proposes 18 weeks of maternity benefits of which six are to be spent with the newborn at full pay

2008- Canada- Statistics Canada reports that 11.2% of workers work from home, up one percent from 2000.  Among the self-employed 60% now work from home, up from 54% in 2006. Highest rates of working from home are among professionals and managers and lowest among those with only high school education.

2008- Responding to pressure to include unpaid work in the System of National Accounts, the UN agrees to include production of all goods, whether sold or not, in GDP calculations. In that way it does count weaving mats. However the tally still excludes cooking and cleaning. The revised system also makes no call for more data on time use by gender.

2008-Canada’s Canadian Heritage Department prepares a report about care of children.

2008- North America – a survey of 606 North American hospitals finds that 75% of them and 90% of intensive care units restrict visitation by family members.

2008- Netherlands – with an aging population a crisis has been identified in many countries, regarding funding pensions. The US did not significantly change its contribution levels but in the Netherlands workers now had to  contribute more, and benefits to pensioners were cut by 2%.

2009 – UN – a UN report of the Commission on the Status of Women examined unpaid caregiving where HIV/AIDS had hit hard. Dr. Deanna Chitayat of the American Psychological Association found that over 7 million AIDS patients globally need long term care. Taking care of an AIDS patients is a ‘full time occupation’ and occupies the time, energy and often finances of the caregiver. The Kaiser Foundation found that in South Africa 2/3 of the primary caregivers of such patients were women. The Secretary General of the UN , Ban K-Moon, recommends that care work is recognized, measured and valued

2009- European Commission sets up a plan to move beyond GDP to develop new indicators of poverty, health, quality of  life and climate change. France sets up a commission to measure nonmarket activities and Finland, Germany, Hungary and Spain set up household satellite accounts in their official tallies.

2009- Canada – More mothers have paid jobs, though data does not always reveal if they are full or part-time, from home or outside the home, by preference or from financial necessity. In 2009 72.9% of Canadian mothers with children under age 16 had paid income, up from 39.1% in 1976

2009 – UN issues Guidelines for the Alternate Care of Children with goals to prevent unnecessary separation from parents it supports the non-institutional care of children, kinship care by relatives and close friends, foster and family-based and family-like placements


2010 Carers Japan is established to raise public awareness of caregiving

2010 – Canada – The Alberta government gives out awards for childcare. It specifically excludes from consideration family -based caregivers.

2010- EU – though committed to doing so, many EU nations admit they have not yet done a time use survey, citing lack of human and financial resources

2010-Britain – the New Economics Foundation finds that a 21 hour paid work week is probably long enough to create productivity gains in developed nations.

2010- US – among dads at home, 32% say they are there only because they could not get a paid job.  A few years later that number is 23%. Those there are more often there by preference.. By about  2013 20% say they are there to provide care to the family, though in 1989 only 5% gave that reason.

2010-  US – The Pew Research Centre finds that 73% of moms at home say they are there to prioritize care of the family, while 20% of dads at home give this as the reason.  The social acceptability of such a goal for fathers is increasing. In 1989 5% of dads at home said it was to prioritize the family

2010 US- women are the main breadwinners in 22% of households, up from 7% in 1970.

2010  Canada – the long form census is removed. Government sets up a National Household Survey, which unlike the census, is not mandatory, and the new survey removes questions about unpaid work.

2010 –  Canada – the number of households where the woman earns more than the man has been increasing. It was 11% in 1967, 18% in 1982, 25% in 1990, 29% in 2003 and is 25-30% in 2010.

2010- The UN Commission on the Status of Women assesses progress since the 1995 promise to value unpaid work.  It again urges member nations to measure such work to better reflect its value

2010 – China – the National Bureau of Statistics finds that with an aging population the demands for someone to provide eldercare have increased. China has no organized caregiver association and family members provide most of the care.  In a nation  that heavily promotes paid work, the pressures on family to also provide care have been recognized as a challenge by a China Medical University study  finding stress related to finances, health and self-esteem along with disrupted schedule.  It was estimated by Xinhua, the official Chinese media, that 10 million people in China need eldercare.

2010 -Taiwan reveals that the majority of its seniors get family base care and only one third of those needing long term care are in nursing homes.  600,000 family caregivers spend on average 13.55 hours a day caregiving.  Women are likely to be regarded in that country as ‘natural caregivers’.

2011- Canada’s birth rate is 2.87 in Nunavut, 1.99 in Saskatchewan and lowest in British Columbia at 1.42 Since the increase in child benefit for all children not just those in daycare, there has been a mini baby boom in some  provinces.  Between 2006 and 2011 the number of children aged 0-4 increased 11% overall. It was up 17.5% in Quebec, 20% in Saskatchewan and 21% in Alberta.

2011- Statistics Canada finds that young adults are living longer in the parental home. Among those aged 20-24, 63% of men and 55% of women are there and among those aged 25-29, 30% of men and 21% of women are there.

2011- Statistics Canada finds that across the country, 29% of fathers of newborns take parental leave while 76% of dads take such leave in Quebec which funds a paternity benefit. The benefit is however tied to paid work.

2011- Canada- the number of lone parent families headed by men is up from 5% in  2006 to 21%.. Eleven per cent of two parent families have a stay-at-home dad

2011 US census finds that 7 million fathers are now providing a significant portion of the care of their children

2011- Canada- Women are more likely than men to have child custody. On remarriage 66% of women had only their own biological or adopted children at hoe,19% had only the children of their spouse or partner, and 15% had children from both familiies. Among men who remarried 27% had only their own children at home 43% had only the children of their spouse and 31% had children from both families.

2011- Canada – divorce rate is 13% for women and 10% for men. Among those aged 55-59, 22% of women and 19% of men are previously divorced or separated and have not remarried. This number is triple what it was in 1981

2011- Canada -National Household Survey in Canada finds that of the nearly 30,000 children in foster care, about half are aboriginal. Cindy Blackstock of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada calls the high rates of taking aboriginal kids from their homes ‘tragic’

2011- Statistics Canada says the number of at home dads is 12% of all fathers, up from 1% in 1976

2011- Chile, Mexico, Turkey and the US have no specific policies to help sole parent families. Spain had a birth grant in 2008 but abolished it. Many nations however give special family allowance supplements or tax breaks to single parents- including Belgium, Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Korea Norway,  the Netherlands, Portugal, and Slovenia.

2011- Canada – General Social Survey finds that 23% of women and 19% of men plan to remain childless

2011 – OECD figures find that 11% of Canadians are in poverty, earning 2/3 less than average earners. In the US the poverty rate is 17.3%. In Germany it is 8.9%.

2012 UK –  Carers Worldwide is a registered charity based in the UK but working with 9 organizations across India, Nepal and Bangladesh.  It seeks to promote awareness of issues facing carers in developing countries and to provide sustainable support to them.

2012 – US – a study finds that 43.5 million people care for someone over age 60 and 14.9 million take care of someone with dementia.    A growing population of people aged 40 and younger are being called on to be a major support to older relatives. 

2012- Canada’s child poverty rate is now 19.1% of children

2012- Canada gives a universal child benefit of $2000 per child per year to age 6 and $720 per year from ages 7-17. Parents using daycare receive this benefit plus funding for daycare.

2012-  Canada – 40% of Canada’s First nations children live in poverty

2012- UK- the child benefit is no longer universal and is reduced for those in households with high income.

2012- Cyprus gives a universal maternity grant of 446 euros.  It also offers a universal child benefit to age 23 for those in college or age 25 for those in the military. The Czech republic gives a benefit to age 15 but to those in college or vocational training extends it to age 26. Estonia gives a universal means tested benefit to age 16, but to age 19 if in school. Belgium’s benefit goes to age 18, but to 25 if in professional studies. Luxemburg also extends benefits to age 27, Malta to age 21, Poland to 24, Portugal to 24, Russia to 18, Slovenia to 26, the UK to age 20 depending on certain conditions.

2012- France gives a universal non-means tested benefit per child in families of two or more children to age 20 years. The amounts start at 120 euros per child and increase to 585 euros per child in a family of 5 children.  Supplements of 34 euros and then 60 euros are given as the child ages. The Netherlands also increases benefits from 193 euros for young children to 276 euros for 12-17 year olds.

2012 –  Spain reduces the amount of its child benefit as children get older, as does Canada. In Spain the benefit decreases from 500 euros aged 0-3 years, to 291 euros to age 18 years.

2012- Turkey – government encourages marriages with a wedding grant

2012- US- the Pew Research Centre finds that 16% of parents at home are dads. It finds that among women who say they have adequate income, 37% want to do full time paid work and 63% do not want full time paid work. Among mothers 77% did not prefer full time paid work. Of adults surveyed 16% said mothers should earn full time, 33% said the ideal is a mother at home full time and 40% said the ideal is part-time paid work.

2012- Australia – gives a universal baby bonus that now is about $5400 per child

2012-Canada-  those who take care of a dependant child or grandchild aged 18 or older and who has a net income under $19.435 can claim up to $402 for the year. This care of the disabled amounts to about $1.50 an hour for an 8 hour day

2012- The UNO Commission on Statistics endorses compiling gross domestic product to incorporate the contribution of the household and informal sector

2012- Taiwan begins offering a birth bonus to address its low birth rat

2012- Spain gives a birth bonus, matching similar moves in France and Scandinavia

2012- the OECD surveys hours of paid work in 34 developed countries, Though South Korea, Chile and Greece have the longest working hours their economies are not all thriving. The shortest working hours are in Netherlands, Germany and Norway whose economies are thriving. Jon Messenger of the International Labor Organization says that long working hours tend to be associated with lower productivity per hour.

2012 Eurostat surveys labor force activity and omits mention of the unpaid work of caregivers.  Monique Geens-Wittermans of the European Federation of Unpaid Parents and Carers notes the omission. She says that not all parents are able to take on paid jobs due to pressing demands in the home and suggests reducing prizes of lotteries like Euromillions to create a special fund to help parents in poverty.

2012-  Canada – Facing high costs of paying out pensions, government encourages its citizens to save for their own retirement, and to do paid work longer. It announces plans to raise the minimum age for getting the government pension to 67 from 65.

2012 – Statistics Canada finds that 28% of Canadians or 8. 1 million people over age 15 provide care to a friend or family member with a long-term disability, health condition or frail and elderly. Of those surveyed only 7% got financial support from government for this care and 12% got financial help from family.

2012- Canada federal revenue collects $113 billion from personal income tax but $29.9 billion from corporate tax. It collects $28.3 billion from the goods and services tax, $17.5 from employment insurance premiums, $5.3 billion from energy tax. Personal income tax is kept high while corporate tax is kept low.

2012 – Many nations now give birth grants including Croatia. Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg,  Montenegro, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia,. Turkey gives a flat rate birth grant to children of female civil servants.

2012 US – A 2009 study found that 61.6 million people provide unpaid care of chronically ill, disabled or aged family members and the value of that is $450 billion per year. A 2012 study found that 43.5 million people care for someone over age 60 and 14.9 million take care of someone with dementia.    A growing population of people aged 40 and younger are being called on to be a major support to older relatives. 

2013- Germany -Chancellor Angela Merkel embarked on a policy of free 3rd party childcare and optionally a care benefit of about $200 a month to those who raise the child at home.  The chancellor defended the policy of funding both options as ‘an essential part of our policy of freedom of choice

2013 -Israel became concerned about the rising rates of dementia as the population ages and in 2013 adopted a National Strategic Plan to Address Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.  It was recognized that family caregivers were going to be a key part of the solution.

2013 -Italy with an aging population says that the family will have to play an important role in care of the elderly. The Ministry of Labor and Social Policies recognizes the family as a primary caregiver. Italy has provided assistance to hire paid caregivers through service vouchers and daytime  centers for the elderly,  and holiday resort outings for ‘non self-sufficient older people’. Italy alsoenables hiring of immigrants from Ukraine, Philippines, Peru and Moldavia to become caregivers in Italy.

2013 – Canada -Dr. Andrea Doucet of Brock University recommends that men and women both enter the discussion to value care roles.

2013- Canada -House of Commons Bill C-44 gives self-employed mothers access to maternity and parental benefits but only  if they have paid into the EI plan double, both as employer and employee.

2013 – Canada – MP Roger Cuzner notes that for maternity benefits, the 600 hour minimum of paid work contributions from new mothers excludes many new mothers from benefits and he wants the limit reduced to 420 hours.

2013  – US -Professor Stewart Friedman of the University of Pennsylvania writes “Baby Bust: New Choice for Men and Women in Work and Family” finding that full time paid work in 1992 took on average 52 hours a week but in 2012 took about 72 hours a week

2013 – Around the world individual tax rates vary from  0% in the United Arab Emirates, 40-45% in South Africa, Australia, China, to 46-50% in Iceland, Israel, Norway and Austria,  51-55% in Canada, the Netherlands, Portugal, 57% in Sweden, 60% in Aruba and 75% in France.

2013- Around the world corporation taxes are generally lower than personal taxes.  Rates vary from 15% or less of income  in Qatar, the US, Latvia, to 15-20% in Canada, Taiwan, the UK, the Netherlands, to 21-30% in New Zealand, Germany, Ukraine and the Philippines to 31-40% in Columbia, France, Jamaica and Zambia.

2013- US -The Pew Research Center  finds that 40% of US households have a female as sole or principle breadwinner.

2013- US – Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg writes “Lean In” advocating that women should push harder to prioritize paid career even when they have children in order to claim more leadership positions in business

2013- Canada – in Ontario 1.2 million of the 1.9 million children aged zero to four years have a mother who some time during the year had paid income. However many of them work from home, earn part -time only  or use family based care so the statistic does not equate with how many women want 3rd party daycare.

2013 – UK – the Office for National Statistics notes that in 1993 there were 2.91 million at home mothers but the number now is 2.04 million. The number of dads at home has gone up from 111,000 to 199,000

2013- Canada -Dr. Dian Panagiotopoulos of BC Children’s Hospital is concerned at high rates of prescription of second generation anti-psychotic drugs to 2 and 3 year olds. The pills are being prescribed from conduct disorders, frustration intolerance or attention deficit and hyperactivity

2013- Canada -A Manitoba parent who sent her child to the childcare center with a roast beef and vegetables lunch is fined $5 by the center for providing what the centre deems an inappropriate meal, lacking some of the necessary 5 food groups of the Canada Food Guide.

2013- Canada Without Poverty research group  finds that 7% of single fathers and 21% of single mothers live in poverty.

2013- Canada – the Bank of Montreal finds that 23% of companies offer a telecommuting option, and in Alberta the number is 34%. 65% of employers surveyed say telecommuting has increased worker productivity and 58% say that it has increased work quality. 54% say office costs have gone down

2013- Canada – Professor Jennifer Berdahl of the University of Toronto finds that among unionized and public sector workers if either gender takes time away from paid work  to care for family, that worker is more likely to see  a drop in pay and fewer promotions.

2013 – Canada – Hanna Rosin finds that women now earn more than men in several fields. Professor Gillian Ranson of the University of Calgary says that 29% of Canadian women outearn their male partners.

2013- Canada – a Calgary elementary school offering classes from kindergarten to grade 4 no longer has grade 6 students to provide school crossing safety patrols since the school has been re-designated from offering Kindergarten to grade 6. Parents and teachers pitched in to provide the school patrol instead but this informal network was declared illegal under the Traffic Safety Act because the parents were uncertified and untrained.

2013-UK – government plans to increase the number of children per adult at its childcare centers and seeks public reaction. Opposition member Sharon Hodgson expresses concern that government however has made a biased consultation of the public, meeting 4-7 times with some groups that operate large daycare chains.

2013 – Australia- the  Women’s Chamber of Commerce argues that women need to be part of the paid workforce to get feminist equality so that paid third party care is vital to their success. Katie Attwell disagrees, claiming that having parents directly involved in their children’s lives as caregivers benefits the economy also. She says that it is ‘ phony feminism’ to argue that women need daycare and also devalues the roles of dads at home.

2013- An Australian primary school bans all physical contact and highfives. A Connecticut middle school bans all physical touching after one student was kicked.  A BC elementary school bans all hands  on play though one school spokesperson says helping each other up after a fall will be permitted.

2013 – the US Families and Work Institute reports that only 33% of employers permit work from home on a regular basis and only 2% of employers offer work from home options to most of their staff.

2013- US – Barry Deutsch studies male privilege and  gender bias in the workplace and finds that men are more likely than women to get hired, elected, promoted, covered in news media or offered a better price on a car for sale. Men are less likely to do household chores, make career sacrifices for the children or be interrupted when speaking.

2013-  Canada -Dr. Janni Aragon finds that on university campuses married men are promoted faster than are single men, married women are promoted more slowly than are single women, female academics spend 5 more hours per week on family care than do male academics and 10% less time on research than do male academics.  Aragon also studies the phenomenon of successful careers of academics whose spouses are willing to relocate for the benefit of the career of their partner and who become the ‘trailing spouse’. Aragon finds that historically the trailing spouse who is home with the children has incurred a tax penalty.

2013- China ends its one child policy to try to again increase births.

2013- Statistics Canada reports that the average household now owes $174.97 for every $100 it has of disposable after tax income. Mortgage debt is now $1.1 trillion, consumer credit debt it $477 billion. The level of debt is up 5.5% from 2012.

2013- UK -the  BBC examines a phenomenon in China of the boarding kindergarten or overnight nursery. Some centres operate Monday to Friday full time away from parental care.

2013 – China -Psychologist Man Mei Ling treats teens and adults who when younger attended boarding kindergartens and finds that they have high rates as teens of anxiety and low self-esteem, with hyper-competitiveness.  There was rarely any academic advantage for those who attended such centres.

2013- UK-  a study by the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) finds that 97% of childcare workers do not want to define early childhood care in terms of academics but in terms of having the child curious about the world, toilet trained and able to cope with separation from parents, with heavy emphasis on play. Only 33% want the child to aim at a good understanding of reading, writing or arithmetic before school.

2013- US – The NYU School of Medicine’s Dr. Vatsal Thakkar says that some diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may in fact just be chronic sleep deficit.  A 2006 study found that 28% of children awaiting tonsillectomres to help them sleep better had been labelled as having ADHD.

2013 – Statistics Canada reports that 28% of Canadians or8.1 million people aged 15 or over provide care to a family member or friend with a long term health condition..54% of such caregivers are women, 44% are aged 45-64, 39% are tending their own parents, 28% of care is for the frail aged. 73% of caregivers help run errands or enable doctor visits. 51% help with meals or house cleaning. 45% help with outdoor work, lawn mowing and snow shovelling or household maintenance.

2013- Canada – General Social Survey of 2011 shows that 3rd party care of children is not the choice of all parents and often not the choice of a majority of parents. Overall only 46% of parents of children aged up to 14 years had used any form of 3rd party care.  26% of those with a child under age one,  60% of those with a child aged 2-4 years, 54% of those with a child under age 4, 39% of those with a child aged 5-14 years, 19% of those with a child aged 11-14 years were using third party care.  The rates varied across the provinces from 34% of Manitoba parents using 3rd party care, 40% of Alberta parents, and 58% of Quebec parents having ever used 3rd party care in the survey year..

2013- UK – Make Mothers Matter International finds that 33% of mothers surveyed had full time paid jobs but only 11% of them wanted those jobs to be full time. 63% of mothers said they’d like part-time paid jobs. 26% of mothers wanted to be home full time with their children.

2013- US –  Families and Work Institute finds that among mothers with children under age 18, only 25% want a full time paid job.

2014- Canada -Nora Spinks of the Vanier Institute of the Family finds that of households with children at home, 69% now are dual income, up from 36% in 1976. However not all of those women are in full time paid work so are also at home parents some of the time

2013- Canada – A Toronto-Dominion Bank survey finds that rates of women in paid work went from 46% in 1976 to 62% but  since 2002 the percent of women in the paid labor force has been declining. The number of women aged 15-24  in paid work has been rising but the number aged 25-54 has been dropping during their caregiving years.

2013-UK – government taxes more heavily the single income household than the dual earner household. Single income couples pay on average 27.9% tax, up from 16.2%.  Dual income households benefit from the shift and single parents see a tax drop from 15% to 8.4% of income. However single earner couples are penalized. Mother and lawyer Laura Perrins gets national attention as she objects to being ‘punished financially ‘ for spending time at home with her children. She asks for government instead of pushing women into the paid labor force, to create options for sharing income so a parent can be home.

2013- Canada – The fact taxes  are collected based on individual income but benefits are reduced based on household income is noted. Economist Jack Mintz points out that benefits such as GST rebate, Canada Tax Benefit and National Child Benefit supplement return money to taxpayers based on household income.  The Universal Child Care Benefit and the Child Care Expense deduction also are administered based on family income since they are claimed only on the income of the spouse who earns less. Single income households cannot claim the deductions.

2013 -US tax system permits a choice between taxation as individuals or as households while Canada requires individual based tax only. In Canada if two households both earn $70,000, the single earner household with that money pays 30% higher tax. The tax on a single earner household making $70,000 is the same as the tax on a dual  earner household earning $84,000. Canadian tax brackets are 15%, to  29%. The highest tax bracket is for those who earn over $132,406. US tax brackets for individuals are 10 to  39.5%. The highest tax rate only applies to those earning over $400,000 Tax brackets for US joint filers as a household are 28 to  39.6% with the highest bracket only for those earning together over $450,000 Tax brackets for those filing as head of household are 10 to 39.6% with the highest brackets only for those earning over $425,000

2013- US – only 11% of Americans have access to paid family leave through the employer. The Family Medical Leave Act gives 60% of employees up to 12 weeks of job protected leave but it is unpaid.. MomsRising lobbies government to provide 12 weeks or 60 workdays of family care time with partial wage replacement, up to 66% of salary. The fund would be employer and employee funded, and would apply to part-time and self-employed workers also.

2013- OECD studies 33 countries and finds that 12.8% of seniors are in poverty. The rate in Canada is 7.2%. OECD countries spent 7.8% of public money on pensions but Canada only spends 4.5% . Seniors in OECD countries get 59% of their income from public transfers of pensions from government. In Canada seniors get 38% of their income from that source. To avoid poverty some observers suggests all pensions together provide 67% of previous income

2013-Canada – the Mental Health Commission finds that government support for care provided by family of those with mental health issues is dwindling. The study estimates that family support networks provide $3.9 billion worth of care per year.

2013 -OECD study finds that higher earning people in retirement are most likely to have private pensions. Those with lower paying jobs, part-time paid jobs and those doing care roles were more likely to have low pensions and be at risk of poverty.

 2013 – Canada -One in seven Canadians is aged 65 or older. The number is expected to be one in four by 2033. The average life expectancy is 78 years for men and 83 for women, both figures up 30 years from the early 1990s.

2013 –  Canada -There is a proposal to increase the Canadian old age security and guaranteed income supplements in the year 2023. Tax analysis Bernard Dussault in Canada wants these benefits gradually increased by one month a year starting now. He also wants governments to index benefits to inflation, saying that indexing is part of paying the benefit and is not itself an additional benefit.

2013-US – lawyer Miriam Ingber praises the US for trying to reduce the number of kids in foster care and reuniting them with their families. Her group Children’s Rights is a national nonprofit urging government to improve conditions in foster care. In Michigan 25 % of backlogged kids in the foster care system were able to return to their own homes.

2013- Statistics Canada finds that 28% of those tending a sick child and 20% of those tending a sick spouse are having financial difficulties. 52% of those tending a sick child, 42 % of those tending a sick spouse and 28% of those tending sick parents say they are struggling financially.

2013 – Canada – The Canada Labour Code and Employment Insurance Act are amended so parents can take leave from a paid job in the case of the critical illness, disappearance or death of a child. Nonfamily members also can access compassionate care benefits if they are considered’ family’ by the person who is gravely ill. Such benefits still are based on paid workforce participation the previous year and the benefits are unpaid.

2013 – Canada – the Mental Health Commission finds that family support for those with mental health problems  saves government  $3.9 billion a year. 70% of those caregivers are women.

2013- US – Center for Economic and Policy Research finds that the US gives no paid days off for workers to provide family care. However many European countries guarantee 24-30 such days per year. France provides 30, the UK 28, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark -25, Austria and Portugal provide 35 days if one also counts statutory holidays. Canada provides from 5 in Nova Scotia to 10 in BC.

2013- Australia – Tony Abbott proposes paying mothers at home for six months based on income she has sacrificed. Some of the public say the plan should also apply to men.

2013- Canada subsidizes some of the cost of in-vitro fertilization and assisted reproduction but not in a parallel way, costs of normal pregnancy.  It subsidizes costs of some adoption expenses  up to $11,440 per year, but gives no parallel funding to parents who do not adopt.

2013 – Canada provides a tax deduction of up to $500 for receipted costs of enrolling a child in an eligible sports or arts program as long as it is not offered by the parent.

2013- Canada – A Calgary elementary school offering classes from kindergarten to grade 6 is redesignated to only offer classes to grade 4. It  no longer has grade 6 students as  school crossing safety guards. Parents pitch in to provide the school patrol instead but this informal network is declared illegal under the Traffic Safety Act because the parents were uncertified and untrained.

2013-UK – government plans to increase the number of children per adult at its childcare centers and seeks public reaction. Opposition member Sharon Hodgson expresses concern that government has made a biased consultation of the public, meeting much more frequently, 4-7 times with groups that operate large daycare chains.

2013 -US – The Families and Work Institute finds that among mothers of children under age 18, only 25% want a full -time paid job.

2013-  Canada – Albion Research finds that 76% of those asked feel that for children under age 6, optimal care is at home with a parent. 67% would like government funds to go to parents directly not to daycares.  If parental care is not an option, the next best preferred care style is care by a relative, then neighborhood daycare, then not for profit daycare and only last, a for profit daycare.

2013 UK-  Make Mothers Matter International surveys women in 16 countries find that 76% of European women over age 18 are mothers but their views are rarely sought on childcare issues by government.  The study finds that 64% did not feel motherhood was well valued in society and 83% did not feel teenagers can take care of themselves after school

2013- Sweden-  the newspaper Varlden Ida surveys parents and find that 64% felt that parental care is the best care till a child is 4 years old. 76% of blue collar union members also felt that care with a parent is optimal

2013- Australia – the Institute of the Family finds that 80% of mothers at home with kids under 5 and 57% of mothers at home with kids under 11 say the reason they are there is by preference. Lack of 3rd party care or high costs of daycare are rarely cited as reasons women are home with the kids

2013 – Canada – Leger Marketing surveys mothers and finds that many sacrifice time taking care of themselves to prioritize care of others. 60% say they don’t have enough time to take care of themselves. 50% said they spend most of their days off paid work taking their children to activities. 27% had put off visiting a doctor for themselves and 57% put off physical activity when busy.

2013 Canada – Controversy erupts about the use of antipsychotics for young children.  The drug aripiprazole, the only antipsychotic officially approved for those under 18 in Canada is officially only approved to treat schizophrenia for teens 15 and older.  Dr. Tamara Pringsheim is concerned about overprescription of such drugs to children. Research suggests some antipsychotics can cause weight gain, increase blood pressure and may interfere with mobility.

2013- UK -The child benefit system is amended so that if either parent earns over 50,000 pounds the benefit is reduced and if either parent earns over 60,000 the benefit is eliminated.   A sole earner household making 60,000 then gets no benefit but a dual earner household with each person earning 45,000 totalling 90,000 gets the benefit. Government announces that it will give 1200 pounds per child to dual earner households even if the household income is 300,000 pounds a year but gives no parallel help to single earner households.


2013- North America – Right Management finds that almost 70% of North American workers have not taken all of their vacation time.  In Canada Expedia.ca finds that 52% of BC residents have cancelled vacations due to work.

2013- The International Conference on Labor Statistics will stop referring to homemakers as ‘inactive’ in the economy. It replaces the term ‘inactive population’ with the term ‘population outside the labor force’ when referring to those in the unpaid household sector.

2014-Caregivers Israel is set up as a nonprofit to raise public awareness of the value of family caregiving, as ‘fundamental to strong families’ and ‘stable communities’.


2014- UK- Julie Robinson of the Independent Association of Prep Schools is concerned that parents are pressured to be ‘sucked into a competitive busyness’ by enrolling their children in many classes in art, music sports and clubs when young. She says children are often pushed too hard and they need time to be bored and be creative on their own.

2014- US – Zepnep Ton of MIT Sloan School of Management finds that unpredictable job schedules result in low morale, high staff turnover and workers being less productive. Some studies find that low wages and economic insecurity harm health, make it hard to afford good nutrition or housing. Rotating shifts result in more illness and fatigue. Such part-time job hours are however common among young mothers who have no  money for being home with a child and little money for not being home.

2014 The website CT Working Moms invites mothers to seek common ground despite the mommy wars.  It runs a photo shoot of mothers who disagree on many topics but who respect each other’s choices regarding breastfeeding, home birth, co-sleeping, organic food, cloth or disposable diapers, paid work or being home with the kids.

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2014- Canada – Liberal MP Ted Hsu proposes a return of the long form census that surveyed unpaid labor.  The new Liberal government in 2015 promises to act on this commitment but by 2021 has not done so.

2014 – Canada – theCanadian Centre for Policy Alternatives joins Living Wages for Families to promote a rise in the minimum wage as a way to raise the standard of living

2014- Statistics Canada surveys use of 3rd party care and finds that only 46% of Canadians use such care. Even in Quebec where daycare is heavily subsidized only 58% use it. That number is 43% in Ontario, 40% in Alberta, 34% in Manitoba. When parents choose a nonparental care arrangement for care of a child zero to four years, 33% choose daycare centres 31% choose home daycares and 28% choose care in a private arrangement

2014 Statistics Canada in a study of homecare finds that  most seniors who need care get it from family and friends.  43% who got care got it from family only, 45% got it from family and professionals and 12% got care from professionals only Those with low income who need care often have poorer health and lower life expectancy.   The study found that most seniors prefer to live in their own homes as long as possible.  As they age they need more care. 10% of those getting care were 65-74 but 45 % were 85 and older.

2014-  Australia cuts its baby bonus amount from $5,000 per child to $2056 per first newborn and $1028.15 for second or third or later children in a household.

2014- Australia-  Liberal National Party Senator Matthew Canavan asks for the family to be made the unit of taxation. Currently people have to pay tax instalments as if single and then wait till year end to get money back for family benefits. Canavan prefers monthly tax breaks received each month.

2014- Canada- The single income tax penalty is now estimated at up to 40% higher tax and proposals continue to permit household based tax or income splitting. Andrea Mrozek of the Institute for Marriage and Family Canada argues that income splitting would be possible on the French model where single parents could also reduce their tax by declaring some of their income shared with the oldest child.

2014-Europe – Income splitting or household based tax is permitted in Germany, France, Poland, Norway, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Spain, Luxembourg and Portugal as well as the US.

2014- Canada – Analysts notice an increase in precarious work, since part time workers cost less to employers if they are given lower wages, fewer benefits. A CIBC bank study finds that though many jobs were created in the past year, 80% of those jobs were part-time positions. 

2014 – US- the Pew Research Centre tallies that there are 10 million mothers at home.

2014 –  Canada -The Canadian Institute for Health Information studies drugs flagged as possibly dangerous for seniors The study finds that nearly 67% of seniors take 5 or more prescription drugs. In long term care homes 61% take 10 or more drugs.  46.5% of seniors in long term care facilities are given drugs that are on the list of drugs of possible risk to seniors. Some of the drugs that pose some risk include some antidepressants, anxiety drugs or antipsychotics. 41% of nursing home residents are being given at least one antipsychotic.

2014 – US – There is a growing trend to have young people up to age 34 still living in the parental home. In the US the census found that 15% of those aged 25-34 still live with their parents. In the UK the Office of National Statistics finds a similar number. The European Commission find s the rate of youth aged 18-34 still living in the parental home is 46% in Romania, 49% in Italy, 51% in Bulgaria, 53% in Greece, 54% in Serbia, 59% in Croatia and 74% in Slovakia.

2014 – UK – The number of people in part-time jobs is increasing. ‘zero-hour’ contracts become common with no employer obligation to offer any hours for some part-time workers

2014- US – The Pew Research Centre finds that mothers at home are increasingly very educated women who prioritize the family for a time. 9% of mothers with a master’s degree, 6% of mothers with a PhD, 11% of mothers with professional degrees in nursing, law or medicine choose to be home for a few years with young children.

2014- Australia-  two tiers of taxation are used depending on earning style. A two income family can earn up to $36,000 before it pays tax but a single income family must pay tax on earnings over $18,000.  In a household earning $80,000, the single earner lifestyle pays $8453 more tax than does the couple earning $40,000 and $40,000. Groups such as Endeavour Forum object to this inequality which they say is a discrimination against the single earner household.

2014 – Canada – The minimum wage in Canada varies from a low of $9.95 an hour in Alberta to a high of $11 an hour in Nunavut. However none of the minimum wages provide an income above the poverty level. In the US the minimum wage varies from $7.25 hour in New York to $10.55 in San Francisco but in all jurisdictions is lower than a living wage. The difference between the minimum paid and the minimum necessary is 17% in San Francisco, 42% in Chicago, 58% in New York and 72% in Boston.

2014 – Canada – Alberta raises its minimum wage to $10.20 an hour and some US workers at fast food outlets go on strike to get a living wage of $15.00 an hour. Those with caregiving obligations and low salaries express concerns that they are obliged to work long hours, forcing them away from their children for extended periods.

2014- Canada – The Childcare Resource and Research Unit admits that of the 4.8 million children in the country aged 0-12 years, only 1.2 million are in regulated child care spaces. Even among preschoolers of whom there are 2.2 million aged 0-5 years, only 543,167 get preferentially funded spaces for 3rd party care.Though childcare advocacy groups argue for more spaces to accommodate the other children in case they want daycare, other parents saythat money would more efficiently be invested to go to children directly, daycare or not.

2014- Canada -parents get a deduction for costs of hiring a 3rd party for care of the child. The deduction is $7,000 per child per year to age 7 years and $4,00 per child per year for those aged 8-17 years and can be claimed for use of a daycare, after school care, or school lunch or camp program.  Parents at home who incur costs of salary loss are not able to claim this deduction, even if they use the school lunch or camp program and have receipts for it.

2014 – Canada’s live in caregiver program has 20,000 nannies from out of country, working in Canada with 6000 having arrived in 2012 alone. Application fee to enter the program is increased from $275 to $1000.  Government permits payment of such caregivers and tax deductions for their services but there is no parallel financial help to parents who provide care themselves.

2014- Canada -Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions reveals that the EI system which funds maternity and other benefits has some gaps. In 2006 only 46.9% of the unemployed were deemed eligible for benefits and in 2014 that number was about 38%

2014- US –  workers pay 16.4% of their pay towards pensions but the average in the Netherlands is 18% of their pay. The Netherlands aims to provide 70% of lifetime average pay in retirement. The intent in the US is to provide 40% of a middle income earner’s earnings in retirement. In the US public companies must have on hand 67 cents for every dollar they will have to pay out in retirement. In the Netherlands companies must have on hand $1.05 for every dollar the pension fund must pay out.

2014- Statistics Canada finds that among those who need homecare, 45 % got it from family and professionals, 43% from family only and 12% from professionals only. 2.2 million people get care, or 8% of Canadians over age 15 with a health condition, disability or among the frail elderly.

2014- Canadian government promises the option for seniors to split their government pensions to reduce their tax payable among couples.

2014- Canada -Alberta -the pension for 55-64 year old women who are widows or divorced and in poverty is stopped entirely in 2014.

2014- Canada-  Police in Winnipeg report that 45-60 young people per day are reported missing and one detective estimates that over half of them are from group homes – ‘kids in care’.  Spokesperson for Macdonald Youth Services says that many runaways are lured by alcohol or drugs and the police express concern for the mental health of some runaways.


2014- Canada- When parents are not able to provide care of a child, other arrangements are often set up, sometimes by government. Kinship care, group home care and foster care may be used though funding for the arrangements is not equal.  An Alberta study of such care finds that between 1999 and 2013, 9 died in kinship care, 7 in group home care and 77 in foster care. In Alberta there are 8500 children in foster care at any one time. Over a fourteen year period 145 have died in foster care, some from untreated illness, suicide or drug overdose of teens. 

2014-  Canada -Child and Youth Advocate for Alberta says that government should work harder to find family-focused setting for kids in state care saying that institutional care is not a health environment for kids to grow up in. There are 8493 children in Care in Alberta, half of them aboriginal

20140 US  Many hospitals change visiting hours to permit family and friends to visit more freely. An MD-Connect-Me app is used by several hospitals to send messages from the operating room to waiting family members.

2014 – Canada- to reduce hospital costs Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre has a program of day surgery to send patients home to recover. Doctors try ensure the home situation can provide such care. 

2014 – Canada – Two patients discharged separately from Manitoba hospitals die shortly after being sent home. Policies are re-examined about ensuring the patient arrives safely and will get adequate care. However such care does rely on unpaid labor that may not be able to afford to be there.

2014- Europe -The employment and social affairs minister of the European Commission says that the main objective of government policy should be job creation. Heather Roy of Social Platform says that many jobs created are not good jobs, have low incomes and bad hours.

2014- US -official statistics still consider women to be in the labor force only if they have paid jobs.   Expressions like being out of work, returning to work, obstacles to work, and not working are based on the assumptions that the role at home is not work.

2014-The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives studies ‘costs’ of children’s care and ignores costs of care at home. It tallies infant care costsat a daycare centre in Toronto at $1676 a month and care of a preschooler at $998.

2014-US – census surveys childcare arrangements for those under age 15. It includes care by nonrelatives in home or in the home of a caregiver, and includes care by a relative, mother, father, sibling, grandparent. This is not the definition used in Canada.

2014 – UK -some women’s rights activists start to call those who provide care ‘carers’ not caregivers as a more inclusive terminology. Organizations are formed for women in the home  The UK provides a carer’s allowance to low income residents aged 16 and over, who provide care at home to someone who needs care and who are not themselves full time students. The amount of the carer’s allowance in 2015 is 62.10 pounds a week.

2014- Canada -Quebec to set up a government funded universal daycare plan, removed funds from its universal per child plan for all children. The cost of the daycare plan has been increasing. Originally  parents paid $5 a day but fees were raised to $7.50 a day and in 2014 Premier Couillard announces will go higher on a sliding scale based on parental income. Those with higher incomes will pay $835, $1456, $2130 or $2678 more per year.

2014- Sweden – the cost of supporting the national universal daycare system has been increasing. Swedbank estimates that the actual tax rate to fund public programs takes up 69% of the earnings of an average Swede.

2014- Statistics Canada says that seniors are 15% of the population. 92% of them live in private households and 8% live in collective dwellings. However for those over age 85, 23% of men and 29% of women are in collective dwellings.

2014-  Europe- Though many parents ask for students to be kept at school longer at lessons or in caregiving rooms, so the parents can be at paid work, schools find that costs of operation there  are high. The British Secretary of State wants students to spend more time in class and have shorter holidays but the president of France changes the school day to no longer have four long days with one day off but to have five shorter days instead. Finland offers school days 8AM till noon with 14 holiday weeks per year and Finnish students regularly score at the top of OECD performance tests. In Sydney , Australia one primary school shifts operations to be 8AM to 1:15 PM with homework centres open for the afternoon.

2014- Canada – The image on the $50 bank note of five women who won the right to sit in the Senate is removed. An award named after Therese Casgrain of Quebec is renamed the Prime Minister’s Volunteer award.

2014-  UK- the Office for National Statistics begins estimating the gross domestic product  for unpaid work, and plans to issue a measure of economic wellbeing to include this tally. Diane Coyle of the BBC Trust praises this improvement on the GDP measure.

2014- UK -Marie Peacock of Mothers at Home Matter says that it is inconsistent that lawmakers say they value childhood development but then do not fund parents who nurture this development

2014- Canada -Most  provinces have seen an increase in the average age of citizens. In Quebec the balance between those aged 15-64 and those over 65 is now 4 per senior, while in 1971 it was 9 per senior. At this rate it is estimated that by 2050 it will be 2 per senior. Concerns are expressed at ability to fund  health care and pensions if this tilted balance continued and birth rates are not increased.

2014- Iran – birth rate which was 3.6 in 1980, dropped to 1.8 by 1992.  Parliament in Iran is now increasing maternity benefits from 6 months to 9 months and giving fathers 2 weeks of paternity leave.

2014- Singapore – birth rate is 1.25, one of the lowest in the world.  Government incentives are established to raise this rate. Benefits in cash gifts for first or second child are up to $8,000  plus tax rebates and cosavings accounts.

2014- US-  Some life insurance companies offer policies to businesses in the case of death of an employee. The beneficiary often however is not the family of the deceased but the employer. Many major banks were given such policies which others criticized as a ‘dead peasants’ plan to enrich companies since the value of the policies on paper or cash surrender value was then listed as a strength of the company. Class action lawsuits were filed against some companies.  However Cash surrender value on such policies is still $12.7 billion at Wells Fargo, $5 billion at JP Morgan Chase, and $17.6 billion at Bank of America

2014-  Canada – Dr. Kevin Milligan of the University of British Columbia finds that in the past 30 years income for the top 0.01% of earners has gone up 150% but that income for the bottom 90% of earners has only gone up 8%.

2014- Sweden- the universal daycare system has slowly permitted higher numbers of children tended by one adult.. In 1980 there were four adults tending 10 preschoolers, one adult for every 2.5 kids,  but the new ratio is three adults to 17 kids or one adult for every 5.6 kids. For older children there is one adult for every ten children.

2014- Canada – In Ontario there is no class cap for kindergarten group size but there is a limit of 23 students per grade one class. Kindergarten groupings average 26 students per teacher.

2014 – Canada –  Kai Pfaffenbach of Reuters finds no evidence of difference in outcomes between kindergarten entry for  3-4 year olds and kindergarten entry for 4-5 year olds despite  Ontario education claims of huge advantages to early entry. In BC, Nova Scotia and PEI full day kindergarten is for five year olds but in Ontario there is a junior kindergarten for 3-4 year olds. Pfaffenbach finds that children who have been home longer rank higher on scales of emotional maturity, communication skills and general knowledge. Pfaffenbach also finds that special needs children seem to benefit more from half day not full day kindergarten.

2014-Canada – Philip DeCicca of McMaster University finds that any advantage reported for those who attend  full day kindergarten disappears after 3 years.  Some studies found that full day kindergarten is linked to slower emotional and social development of children.

2014- Canada -Most drugs that have been field tested were only tested on adults. Dr. Michael Ryder of the University of Western Ontario is concerned that many drugs kids are prescribed are not officially mentionned on the label for use by children. Many anti-seizure drugs approved only for those aged 12 and up are prescribed for young kids.  70% of drugs prescribed in Canada have no instructions about use for children.

2014- US -Dr. Richard Friedman tells the New York Times that he suspects some ADHD is just boredom. He expresses concern that the drug industry is driving some of the increase in diagnosis of the condition.

2014-  US -A new label for 3-5 year olds with certain responses to stress is being labelled “Preschool onset depression”.  Dr. Joan Luby found that the early label was a robust predictor of major depressive disorder in later childhood. Researchers also found that children labelled with a conduct disorder in preschool were more likely to have major depression in later childhood

2014- Canada -Dr. Peter Nieman studies results at the Boston Children’s Hospital finding that medication long term for ADHD does not interfere with height as had been feared but it was linked to childhood obesity.

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