Episode 10: Child Care, Women, and the Economy

6 April 2022

In this episode, Jaclyn Silbernagel sits down with Lee Stevens, VCC’s policy and research specialist and this episodes’ co-host alongside Nevena Ivanovic, public policy coordinator with the Women’s Centre of Calgary and Andrea Cox, manager of government relations with YW Calgary. Together they discuss women and the economy, child care in Alberta, and what’s working in regards to policy.

Published 6 April 2022

Updated 6 April 2022

This episode of Let's Talk Poverty explores how caregiving plays a critical role in society and supports economic growth. It also examines the new child care agreement in Alberta and what it means for women and families, and how investment in child care also means investing in the child care workforce.

In this episode

  • Why child care isn’t just a women’s issue, it’s an economic imperative.
  • Exploration of the care economy (i.e. child care, elder care, health care and education) and how this work is largely carried out by women.
  • How the new child care agreement is a good policy for families and the economy and is a notable example of governments coming together from across the political spectrum to do the right thing.

Three key takeaways

  • The child care agreement is a historic investment and a necessary pillar of a just recovery in Alberta. $10 per day is a catchy slogan, but the principles of the agreement go beyond just being affordable and also include child care that is high quality, accessible, and inclusive.
  • How underlying conditions of inequality magnify the unequal division of labour in our society, and why the care sector is significant to both our health and the strength of the economy.
  • The need to invest in the child care workforce alongside advances in child care in Alberta. There are no child care spaces without child care workers.

About Nevena Ivanovic

Nevena Ivanovic is the Public Policy Coordinator at the Women's Centre of Calgary, where she works to bring an intersectional gender lens to policy discussions and joint advocacy efforts with other organizations. Nevena researches and advocates for social policies that address the unique way women are affected by, and are vulnerable to, poverty and economic insecurity. She focuses specifically on income support programs, affordable transportation and child care, as well as municipal-level work to advance gender equity. Nevena holds two Master’s degrees, in Gender Studies and Public Policy. Over the years, Nevena has worked internationally to support and empower women in politics, build the capacity of gender equity advocates, and influence public policies so that they reflect women’s needs and experiences.

About the Women’s Centre of Calgary

The Women’s Centre of Calgary is every woman’s place for support, connections and community. Women seek assistance at the Women’s Centre with issues as diverse as poverty and hunger, family breakdown, parenting, homelessness, unemployment, health and education, immigration and settlement, domestic violence, isolation and loneliness, life transitions and discrimination. They offer a safe, open, drop-in space to create a sense of community for women of all backgrounds, providing access to computers, coffee, free workshops, connection and more.

About Andrea Cox

Andrea Cox is responsible for furthering cooperative and collaborative relationships between YW Calgary and government partners at the municipal, provincial and federal levels. She represents YW Calgary’s interests when working on joint advocacy with other non-profit organizations with aligned goals. Andrea has over 8 years of advocacy, policy, and government relations experience, having worked in progressively senior roles within the Government of Alberta focused on intergovernmental and international relations. Prior to working with YW Calgary, Andrea was Manager of Federal and State Relations in the Government of Alberta’s office in Washington, DC where she built extensive networks with government, private and non-profit stakeholders to advance Alberta’s trade interests with the United States. Andrea holds a Master of Global Affairs from the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, and a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton University majoring in Political Science. Andrea is passionate about utilizing her skill set to advocate for policies and projects that further gender equity.

About the YW Calgary

YW Calgary believes that healthy women and healthy families lead to thriving communities. They support clients in meeting their immediate and most basic needs, then work directly with them to create positive change in their lives. They provide shelter, housing, counselling and employment support. YW Calgary is the largest and longest serving women’s organization in Calgary. For more than a century, they have touched tens of thousands of lives and have continually evolved their programming to meet the changing needs of women in the community.

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