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National Child Care System

CAUT Policy Statement

To enable parents to take advantage of post-secondary educational opportunities and to participate in the workforce, all children must be provided with high quality early childhood education and care. CAUT supports the establishment of a Canada-wide system of comprehensive child care1 services, including licensed full and part-time group programs for pre-elementary and elementary school children, supervised family home care, and resource and support services for parents and other care givers taking care of children at home.

Such a system must be founded on the following principles:

- Universality: High quality and affordable early childhood education and care should be provided to all. The range of program options should allow families to choose appropriate services to meet different needs as they arise.

- High Quality: Early childhood education and care should be licensed and regulated to ensure high quality.

- Affordability: Early childhood education and care should be publicly funded, ideally without direct cost to families.

- Parental Role: Parents should have an active role in determining the child care environment.

- Provider Direction: Early childhood education and care providers should be involved in the decision-making process.

- Sponsorship: Early childhood education and care should be non-profit and public, community-based, or sponsored by employers with the participation of the users.

Approved by the CAUT Council, November 2003;
editorial revisions, November 2008 and April 2015.

1 This includes infant care.