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How child care services are created in Canada

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Publication Date: 
31 Jan 2022


In Canada, whether or not child care services are available mostly rests on whether private individuals initiate their creation, take it through the development process, maintain it, usually finance it, and sometimes decide when to shut it down. This first paper, in a series of eight, identifies ways in which child care services are created in Canada and discusses the shifts needed to increase child care supply. The paper argues for a shift in mindset – away from assuming that creating child care is a private responsibility (that is, relying on “the market”) – toward the idea that building a child care system includes a transformational shift to public responsibility for the availability and distribution of regulated child care. This will be key in determining whether Canada “gets the architecture right” for building a child care system that will be able to meet our ambitious goals in the future.