How child care is funded also makes a difference. All provinces and territories provide some form of direct operating support to child care programs. Direct funding takes the pressure off parent fees and provides a level of stability to programs that parent fees alone cannot provide.
How child care is funded determines who participates in programs. Government subsidy levels often do not match the fees licensed programs must charge to attract and keep qualified staff. Low-income families are unable to cover the gap between the fees programs charge and the subsidies governments provide, forcing them to settle for unregulated options.
While funding for child care has increased since last reported in 2011, the percentage of operating funding to fee subsidy spending has remained relatively constant.
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