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A new report underscores the importance of making sure our new cross-Canada child care system is not-for-profit. The national study, conducted by two University of Toronto economists, found that non-profit child care centres have the highest quality care.

The U of T study confirms the conclusions of researchers from Canada and around the world. The House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, which holds hearings in advance of the federal budget each year, has got the message too. The committee’s pre-budget report recommends that the new child care system that’s under construction be “national, accessible, affordable, high-quality, publicly funded, publicly regulated [and] not-for-profit.”

Australia’s experience with for-profit care is a warning for Canadians. A recent media investigation found Australian child care corporations were “cutting staff and cleaning services, axing programs and slashing food bills in half in the quest for profits.”

Non-profit delivery is also our best protection against trade challenges. If the new system allows for-profit care, foreign big box child care corporations will demand their share of the child care “market” – and governments will be hard pressed to stop them. At the same time, it will get a lot harder to create and maintain standards in the child care sector – and governments could lose their ability to regulate child care altogether.

Visit www.BuildChildCare.ca today to send a message to federal Social Development Minister Ken Dryden, your provincial minister responsible for child care and other key decision-makers negotiating the details of Canada’s new child care program. Spread the word by sending a “Stop big box child care” postcard to your family, friends and co-workers, encouraging them to take action at www.BuildChildCare.ca.