There is overwhelming evidence that school closures have had a devastating impact on children’s mental and physical health and resulted in widespread learning loss while increasing their vulnerability and risk of abuse. Children First Canada’s latest Raising Canada report revealed that all the top 10 threats to children have been accelerated in the past year, resulting in widespread violations of children’s rights.
From the onset of the pandemic, Children First Canada has led a coordinated national response to mitigate the negative impacts and lift the burden on children. We are calling on governments to prioritize the safe reopening of schools in all their COVID-19 plans and invest the necessary resources to ensure that schools can safely remain open. Schools should be the last to close and the first to reopen.
Statistics Canada, in collaboration with Children First Canada, has released an interactive tool to help Canadians better understand the impacts of COVID-19 school closures on kids. Policy makers, teachers and parents can access relevant maps and data to make informed decisions within their regions here.
You can read the recommendations from our Council of Champions to the federal, provincial and municipal governments here. Children and youth have also been outspoken about their desire for schools to remain open, and have issued their own recommendations to government through the Young Canadians’ Parliament and our Youth Advisory Council.
Collectively, Canadians of all ages have the power to influence government decisions and improve the lives of children in Canada and hold them accountable.
Follow us on social media to find out ways you can support the return to safe in-school learning.
Every day matters. Kids can’t afford to wait.