How Cities Can Help Get the Kids to Daycare

Erin Anderssen takes a critical look at the role of our cities in the provision of much needed childcare. While municipally-delivered childcare has been successful in Scandinavia, some Canadian cities are left playing with alternative approaches.
October 24, 2013, 8am PDT | Kasper_O_Koblauch
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While many major cities have prioritized attracting a young and cosmopolitan creative class, what happens when these urbanites become both professionals and parents? In North American cities, childcare seems to be hard to find and even harder to pay for.

Looking to Europe, Erin Anderssen observes that “child care is an essential service and cities may be in the best position to deliver it – with proper funding from higher levels of government. For example, Sweden’s top-ranked programs are managed at the municipal level, where it is easier to monitor demand and to oversee quality.”

While a European-style system is not likely in the cards for most North American cities, Anderssen notes that cities can still play a part, pointing to Vancouver, which, “has created half of its licensed group spaces by giving incentives to developers who include a daycare in their design plan. For example, the 42-storey Shaw Tower has, as well as offices and condos, a regulated, non-profit child-care centre.”

“Nearby New Westminster has adopted similar measures, loosening regulations for centres in apartment buildings, and financing child-care grants through parking fees.”

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Published on Monday, October 21, 2013 in The Globe and Mail
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