Thanks. I think you were specifically asking what the difference is between what we have now and publicly funded child care. Essentially what we have now is that we don't have a system. What I tried to explain in my presentation is that essentially governments have handed over responsibility for child care to the markets. The only exception is in the province of Quebec. That would be a long answer just to talk about Quebec, and Hélène spoke a little bit about that.
For most parents, responsibility for getting child care rests with them, not with the government. Providing child care also rests with individuals, so for the most part the child care that exists outside of Quebec exists because a bunch of people decided to provide it. It could be non-profit organizations or it could be for-profit organizations but it is not really a public system. What we saw through COVID is that when you leave things to the market, something as essential as the safety and provision of care for children ends up collapsing.
A lot of parents, for example, have to turn to unregulated, informal care including relatives. That just fell apart with COVID. I think that's why it took COVID for everybody to understand that we really have a problem here, because there really was nowhere to turn for the care of children. We think this health crisis creates a real opportunity to allow some rethinking to go on, to stop relying on individual solutions for the provision of child care and to look at collective solutions, and that means government solutions. Only government is actually in a place to properly fund the service or organize the service so that we don't end up in a situation where you might have child care that is provided where it's not as needed or in other places where we don't have it at all, what we call child care deserts.
The only way to do that is for governments to step in. Yes, it's under the jurisdiction constitutionally of provinces and territories. However, as we saw through COVID, when the federal government wants to step in and get things done, it can do that. It just needs to do it. The way it does that is by putting money on the table and then saying to the provinces and territories, “Let's sit down. We're willing to help you out with money, but let's also look at what makes sense. Let's draw on the evidence of what makes for a good program and let's stop replicating mistakes and let's start replicating success stories.”
That's what we want to see.