The GNWT has found its strengths and weaknesses when it comes to childcare.
In Yellowknife, Julia Green, the Minister of Health and Social Services, shared the results of the 2020-2021 Annual Report of the Director of Child and Family Services. The report shows all he data collected from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021 relating to child and family services across the Northwest Territories.
The report showed that some of the stronger areas of childcare services included a decrease in the amount of children using them. The report found a significant drop in those numbers since 2011 and 2012, going from 193, to just 93. This drop is attributed to a greater understanding of the importance of family and community support in the lives of children. Remaining connected o those same groups can also be extremely helpful in keeping young people out of childcare services.
Another topic that stuck out in the report was how many children in these services come from indigenous backgrounds. It was found that 98 percent of kids in childcare services are indigenous. This was found to be a rather startling number, as only 57 percent of children across the NWT are indigenous. The report lays out a few suggestions to help take care of this overrepresentation, including taking a look at the link between relevant socio-economic conditions like poverty and housing precarity.
Minister Green assures the public that these issues will be addressed.
“The GNWT is committed to ongoing system reform and quality improvement initiatives to ensure the needs of Indigenous communities and families are met.”
The report itself acknowledges a need for an overhaul to systemic issues that families may experience, as an effort to prevent them from ever turning to childcare services in the first place.