TORONTO, Nov. 24, 2016 /CNW/ - Canada has a chronic child poverty problem that the federal government can solve but it must get to the roots of the issues plaguing families, says Anita Khanna, National Coordinator for Campaign 2000. Recommendations in the national report card address housing, precarious employment, gaps in the social safety net, income inequality, and early childhood education and care. "Children and families need bold, unrelenting and collaborative federal leadership for a comprehensive anti-poverty plan that uproots poverty. Nearly 1 in 5 children in Canada live in poverty today because their families are forced to navigate the uncertainty of precarious work, skyrocketing housing costs, and uneven and unaffordable childcare services while they try not to slip through the holes in Canada's social safety net. The Canada Child Benefit and government's commitment to reduce and monitor child poverty are important steps forward in the battle against child poverty. But, with over 1.3 million children in poverty, and Canada ranking 26/35 in UNICEF's international ranking of child inequality, Canada's work is clearly not done. As an immediate action, we urge government to index the CCB to inflation effective 2017 to help families keep up with the rising cost of living," says Khanna. "Any time spent in poverty during childhood has immediate and long-term physical, mental and social implications. Childhood poverty not only holds children back from reaching their potential, but is a threat to public health and our country's future success. Supplementary health benefits, accessible and affordable child care, and targeted nutrition and housing programs would all help children and youth to thrive and reach their full potential," says Marie Adele Davis, Executive Director of the Canadian Paediatric Society.