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SpeciaLink-the National Centre for Child Care Inclusion

University of Winnipeg
2E22-515 Portage Avenue Winnipeg, MB, R3B 2E9

In Our Way
Child Care Barriers to Full Workforce Participation
Experienced by Parents of Children with Special Needs -
and Potential Remedies

Sharon Hope Irwin and Donna S. Lero
148 pages, Quality Paperback. $25.00

SUMMARY: Parenting a Child with Special Needs and Staying in the Paid Labour Force

Read the Recommendations Chapter based on the research findings and parents' suggestions

In this unique study, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers explores barriers experienced by parents of children with special needs. It shows the extraordinary struggle these parents face in juggling work, family and child care. Of value to unions, policy makers and researchers - its conclusions have a powerful message for CUPW members and other workers facing similar challenges.

I haven't been able to work since we left [town].... If we hadn't had D. I'm sure I would have pursued my career.... It's really a shame that I've wasted all my education and never worked for very long as I planned to do.... It's like having a baby who gets bigger, but he never grows up.... Sometimes it feels like I'm spending my whole life in this house looking after him.

I told my husband, 'But I can't tell my boss my child's sick.' The worst thing I could possibly do is to acknowledge that my children have an impact on my life. Isn't it ironic: I'm on the verge of quitting the company but I can't even tell my boss I don't want to go on this trip because my child is sick?

I work part-time, so theoretically I have 2 days per week 'off'. However, those days are spent on doctor and therapy appointments, phone calls related to my daughter, coordinating services, etc. I would consider full-time work (which we really need the income from) it I had access to appropriate daycare and I could find the time to do what I usually do on my days off (which is virtually impossible).

CUPW Special Needs Project Index

Published by BretonBooks
Wreck Cove, Nova Scotia,
Canada, B0C 1H0

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