In Canada, early childhood education and care includes childcare programs, kindergartens and nursery schools. When these programs are well-designed, they support children’s development and accommodate parents who work or study. About Canada: Childcare answers questions about early childhood education and childcare (ECEC) in Canada. Why doesn’t Canada have an ECEC system, even though other countries do? Why is ECEC so important? What is missing in Canada’s ECEC landscape and why? Can ECEC programs be designed as wonderful environments for young children or are they merely necessary but not particularly desirable places to keep children safe while mothers are at work? Is ECEC primarily a public good, a private family responsibility or an opportunity for profit-making? Early childhood education and childcare is a political issue, the authors argue, and Canada needs an integrated system of services. The absence of a universal publicly funded ECEC system is detrimental to families, women and children and Canada’s future.
Five Decades of Child Care Advocacy and Policy in Canada
Most parents of young children need child care services to help them work or study. Yet the licensed child care system has space for less than one in ten children and is generally unaffordable for most parents. Quality, accessibility and affordability vary wildly within and between provinces and territories. While Quebec has a 5-a-day child care system, the rest of the country leaves child care to the family and the market. When and why do governments implement progressive child care policies? The contributors in Changing Child Care address this and other questions, and examine the different child care systems Canadians have adopted.