Methods of evaluation for the social assistance child care allowance as well as the beginnings of a universal child care service will be approached through an anti-oppressive lens in which attention will be directed towards issues of culture and vulnerable populations including women and minority groups. A process and outcome evaluation will be conducted to examine the policy initiatives.
The process evaluation will assist in the continued development of the child care initiatives. This evaluation will be used to determine if the target population of low income families is being reached. It will also examine the specificities of the services being delivered in terms of the child care allowance and funded care services, and whether these services are encompassing the programs and population it was intended to.
An outcome evaluation will also be completed on an annual basis once the policy is in place. This evaluation will be used to determine the impact and effectiveness of the child care initiatives. This evaluation will determine whether the initiative is meeting the outlined objectives of moving families off of social assistance and above the poverty line as well as preventing families from entering into a position below the poverty line. It will also examine if the initiative has resulted in the objective of general empowerment for women and real choices in terms of labour market participation. This evaluation will also be concerned with the ratio of benefits to cost through the utilization of a cost-effectiveness study.
Both quantitative and qualitative methods will be used in the overall evaluation. With the utilization of a humanist perspective we are hoping to pick up on the differing cultural and social needs that the Workfare policy missed during development. This perspective will involve qualitative interviews and focus groups with key informants, service user and provider feedback. It will also include participatory methods including involving various community organizations as well as service users and providers. Quantitative methods will also be utilized to provide the study with greater depth, but also to legitimize the data as government often find this type of data to be the most effective (whether or not this is true). Quantitative data will include cost-effectiveness studies, file reviews, demographic information, as well as evidence about the value of childhood development programs.
For More Information on Child Care policy plan:
White, Linda. (2001). Child care, women’s labour market participation and labour market
policy effectiveness in Canada. Canadian Public Policy v. xxvii no. 4 pp. 385-405.
Cleveland, Gordon and Hyatt, Douglas (1996) Child care, social assistance and work:
Lone mothers with preschool children. Applied research branch strategic policy: Human resources development Canada.
Ministry of Community and Social Services www.mcss.gov.on.ca
Canadian Child Care Advocacy Association: www.ccaac.ca
Originally known as: Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation www.mdrc.org