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Click here for care: how the platform economy can impede high-quality childcare

Gig economy Labour market disruption Child care

Most of the media and policy attention on gig economy platforms has focused on companies such as Uber and Deliveroo, while those largely represented by women, such as cleaning and caring platforms, get little airtime. Despite the picture that a reference to the gig economy might conjure up, platform work is not just men on wheels. This paper focuses on the rise of childcare platforms, the impact of those platforms, and what should be done about it.

In the authors' view, it is not platforms per se that are the problem, but the way they are currently configured. Childcare is too important both to families and society to be left to poor-quality private provision. If childcare platforms operated on a different model of ownership, they could play a useful role in the future of childcare. Around the world, co-operative platforms are beginning to emerge, with the potential to expand into the childcare sector.

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