History Repeats: Undermining Child Care in Ontario

In June 1974, Margaret Birch—Ontario’s then-Provincial Secretary for Social Development—delivered a proposal to the legislature to slash the costs of childcare in the province. The so-called Birch Proposals included reductions in minimum staff-child ratios, the elimination of the required formal qualifications for most staff, the elimination of the requirement that day nurseries have kitchens on site, and altered licensing procedures pertaining to physical standards of care sites.