The Rural Spark podcast explores and celebrates rural innovation. Helen Murphy, rural newspaper editor and entrepreneur invites guests to share fresh thinking, success stories and lessons learned in rural innovation. In this episode, Dr. Susan Prentice is interviewed about rural childcare. The episode focusses on families’ struggles accessing and affording childcare in Canada. Dr. Prentice’s shares her international experiences with the different childcare systems in France and Sweden, as well as within Canada in Quebec. Dr. Prentice expresses the need for publicly funded childcare, explaining how the large majority of our current system is delivered through the private sector. A feminist critic is included to explain the important economic argument that can be used to support publicly funded childcare both from increasing mothers’ labour force participation and the large return from increasing the early childhood workforce that is overwhelmingly female.