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Bringing cities to the table: Child care and intergovernmental relations

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Jenson, Jane & Mahon, Rianne
Publication Date: 
1 Oct 2002

Available in print for order (see SOURCE) and online for download.

Excerpt from press release:

The paper uses child care as the "lens" through which to present the case for a new relationship between all three levels of government.

"Canadian children can't be divided into three parts, with federal needs, provincial needs and municipal needs," says Jenson. "And there is no constitutional reason why the needs of the child and the community cannot come first. The proper mix of responsibilities between levels of government will follow."

Jenson and Mahon argue that the most effective policies are those that balance considerations of equity, assured by a central government, with those of respect for diversity and local needs and conditions.

"This requires both centralized and decentralized components in social programs, and a lot of coordination among the various actors," Jenson maintains. "Clearly, this can't be achieved if cities are not at the table."

The authors draw on experience both abroad and in Canada to demonstrate the feasibility of tripartite approaches to designing and delivering social services. They conclude that the barrier to a coordinated approach is not constitutional, but political.

Entered Date: 
24 Oct 2002
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