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If it don't make dollars, does that mean that it don't make sense?

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Commercial, nonprofit and municipal child care in the city of Toronto: A report to the Children's Services Division, City of Toronto
Cleveland, Gordon
Publication Date: 
1 May 2008

Description: In the latter half of 2007, there was considerable public concern and media coverage about the possibility that a multinational corporate child care chain was actively engaged in a campaign of purchasing Canadian child care centres. Concerns have been expressed in Australia and Canada about the effects of this development on: a. the quality of child care provided to children, b. on community orientation of and parental involvement in that child care, and c. on the ability of governments to effectively regulate and develop policies to affect large and powerful corporate child care providers. In this context, a number of Ontario municipalities, because of their role as child care service managers, have been anxious to ensure that they would have adequate tools to control child care developments within their boundaries. The City of Toronto has, since December 2004, had a policy that new purchase-of service agreements with child care providers would only be established with not-for- profit operators. This report, commissioned by the Children's Services Division: (a) reviews the theoretical and empirical literature on commercial and nonprofit child care services; (b) analyzes data from commercial, nonprofit and public child care services in the City of Toronto, focusing on issues of quality; (c) reviews evidence from other countries on the behaviour and performance of large corporate child care chains; (d) recommends appropriate policies for the City of Toronto related to commercial and non-profit child care (including large chain commercial providers). The author, University of Toronto economics Prof. Gordon Cleveland, in an interview with the CBC commented, "They're decidedly different, they're clearly different, in how good they are for kids…The non-profit centres in all age levels of classroom are consistently better in quality than the for-profit centres." See the CRRU Privatization website through the Availability link above for more information on this important policy issue.