PAR Child Care Research

Making Mothers Matter: Understanding the Role of Child Care on the Health and Wellbeing of Low-Income Lone Mothers in British Columbia is a three year long, participatory action research (PAR) project being conducted through a partnership between the Single Mothers’ Alliance BC and the University of British Columbia, Department of Sociology. The study will look at  the impact of BC’s new child care policies on the health and well-being of low-income lone mothers with young children under six. We are grateful to the Vancouver Foundation for their role as a key project funder.

Project Genesis

Lack of child care access and affordability poses a major barrier in BC to lone-mothers’ economic sustainability and emotional and social wellbeing. The Province of BC launched Childcare BC in 2018 with new child care policies aimed at reducing the cost of child care, including the testing of universal child care at prototype test sites. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of these new child care policies on the health and well-being of low-income, lone-mothers with children under the age of six. There is currently no other research being conducted in BC on the impact of the Childcare BC plan specifically from the perspective of low-income lone-mothers living below the poverty line.  

What is Participatory Action Research (PAR)?

Participatory Action Research means that low-income, lone-mothers will take the lead on developing and carrying out the research rather than remaining 'subjects' of the research. In 2021, SMA secured seven lone-mothers to take the lead as Peer Researchers and form the Low-Mother Low-Income Research Committee (LMRC) which will determine research design and methods and carry out data collection. Research will take place in four of BC's major regions, including communities in Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby, Revelstoke, Port Alberni and Prince George


The LMRC is now participating in the education and training phase, learning about qualitative research approaches and methodologies in a series of training events completed by August 2021. Research design will take place in the fall of 2021, followed by the recruitment of research participants. Years two and three of Making Mothers Matter span 2022 and 2023. 

For Outreach Partners and Collaborators: We need You!

If you are interested in signing up to hear about ongoing updates and opportunities to support the project, or just learn more, please email Viveca Ellis at [email protected] 

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.