Growing Pains: Childcare in Canada
June 23, 2015 | By Mowat Centre |
There is strong evidence that effective childcare policies boost employment, reduce gender inequality and promote child development, particularly for struggling families.
Despite this value proposition, and with some exceptions, governments in Canada have not invested significantly nor paid serious policy attention to childcare.
A 2008 UNICEF study ranked Canada last among 25 industrialized countries in early childhood services. Fewer than one in four children in Canada have access to regulated childcare spaces. The spaces that do exist are often unaffordable. The quality of care children receive in private, public and informal care settings is inconsistent.
Canada’s political parties are currently staking out their positions on childcare in advance of the 2015 federal election, ranging from enhancements to the Universal Child Care Benefit to a universal childcare plan. This paper provides an overview of the policy opportunities and challenges in the childcare realm, and proposes options to improve upon current approaches that are flexible enough to meet the diverse needs of Canadian families.
Governments should ensure that Canadians have childcare options that are affordable, accessible, promote early childhood development and provide parents with the flexibility to work.
What is Childcare?
Who’s involved in childcare policy and delivery?
Who is affected?
How much does childcare cost governments and families?
June 23, 2015