Alice knew it was wrong to leave her 10-year-old daughter at home with her two younger siblings and depend on her to prepare their meals while she was out. But she had run out of options. She was already working two jobs to make ends meet, and there certainly wasn't any money left over to consider paying for after-school childcare.
"Children living in poverty are often forced to grow up faster than their peers," explains Bev Parks, Executive Director at the Norwood Child and Family Resource Centre. "They often have to take on the role of caregiver not only for themselves, but for their younger siblings as well."