A National Study. Study sponsored by the Assembly of
First Nations, Office of the Regional Vice Chief.
Funded by the Child Care Visions Program of the
Employability and Social Partnerships Division, HRDC.
Beginning in 1994, various national and First
Nations initiatives in Canada have increased the
availability of child care for Aboriginal children.
However, the speed of these initiatives has not
allowed time for First Nations communities to define
their wishes for the care of their children. This
report documents the opinions of First Nations
communities on quality child care and presents
recommendations for program development. An
extensive literature review examines Canada's
Aboriginal population, the historical context of
Aboriginal-White relations in Canada, the need for
Aboriginal child care services, traditional
child-rearing practices, First Nations jurisdiction
and authority in child care, research on quality
child care, and diversity issues in child care.
Interviews with key informants and focus groups in
First Nations communities were conducted in British
Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Ontario, which have very
different contexts in terms of provincial
legislation and licensing and the extent and
duration of First Nations child care programs.
Participants identified historical, social, and
political influences affecting development of
Aboriginal child care services; aspects of quality
child care related to the physical environment,
caregivers, caregiver training, educational and
cultural programming, content of teaching, parent
and community involvement, and child grouping; and
supports and barriers created by child care
regulatory schemes. Extensive recommendations are
offered in each of these areas and are summarized in
tabular form. Appendices include study
questionnaires list of Steering Committee members,
study permission forms and letters, and individual
reports on the three provinces. (Contains 124
Whispered Gently through Time here in pdf format