This chapter sees childcare as a ‘zone of political engagement’ in which childcare policy is analysed within a framework of democratic governance. Like critical social work generally, femocratic childcare values the perspectives of service users and envisions a childcare system designed around the needs and interest of children and families. Through the lens of feminist Nancy Fraser’s critical social theory, the chapter examines what a democratic-feminist, or femocratic childcare system might look like by exploring two of Fraser’s central conceptual pairings: (1) redistribution and recognition; and (2) étatism and contra étatism. Sharing Fraser’s interest in reconciling principles existing in tension with one another, the chapter analyses the gendered contradictions inherent in two models of childcare governance in Canada: school-based and community-based models.
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