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Who cares? Motivations for unregulated child care use

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Breitkreuz, Rhonda & Colen, Kerryn
Publication Date: 
10 Oct 2018


This article explores the motivations for unregulated child care use within Canada. Using focus group data from 109 mothers, we analyze unregulated child care use within a policy context in which regulated child care is only available for 20% of preschool children. The key drivers for unregulated care were framed by participants as benefits: trust in a known caregiver with similar values, offered in a home-like environment. Importantly, one driver that was not seen as beneficial was the lack of affordable and accessible, regulated child care. Sometimes used as a last resort amid regulated child care shortages, unregulated care became the driver of how mothers organized their time. Within the constraints of a limited regulatory child care environment, we argue that Mathieu’s (2016) concept of demotherization is beyond the grasp of the majority of Canadian mothers.

Entered Date: 
6 Nov 2018
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