Good Practice

Time For Care

Promote, coordinate and fund the enlargement and creation of nearby public care services for zero- to fourteen-years old, out of school time.

Catalan Government
Local policy


The main objective of this policy is to develop public co-responsibility around care. Several specific objectives include:

  1. Consolidate children’s right to care
  2. Create free time for families, particularly women, to whom care work is largely attributed
  3. Accredit professional experience acquired in the informal sector
  4. Generate new quality employment in this sector Advance in gender and territorial equality


Catalonia has a population of approximately 7.5 million. Roughly 1,160,000 are children between the ages of zero and fourteen whose out-of-school care needs are mainly assumed through private entities and a limited number of leisure and social organisations. Care work thus mostly falls to families, particularly women, who have traditionally been responsible for this task.

Women’s possibilities of reconciling life and work and participating in the labour market are far from equal to those of men. It is therefore necessary to provide outof-school services to free up time for adult carers, and simultaneously to professionalise these jobs and create quality care employment. It is a complex challenge and until now, what scant childcare resources exist have been poorly distributed across the territory.


The Department of Equality and Feminisms believes that society and governments must share responsibility for care if we hope to attain equality, particularly as it relates to gender. These services, designed as universal public services for zero- to fourteen-year-old children, strive to impact the local area and families, particularly women, to whom care work has been traditionally chiefly assigned.

In Catalonia, funding for the programme is expected to come from the city and county councils that will implement it. Moreover, this policy is aligned with the government’s commitment to promoting co-responsibility; increasing free care coverage for zero- to three-year-olds, and supporting other public policies involving leisure and other local initiatives already implemented. Now we want to promote the Catalan public system for childcare services. This means broadening existing services and facilitating the creation of new ones as, for example, local babysitting, summer camps, children’s play centres and other public services offered out of school time and separate from the educational system.


  • Free and universal care services for children from zero to fourteen years old
  • Services implemented by local governments to ensure flexibility and proximity
  • When necessary, priority given to singleparent families, mothers/guardians who have suffered gender violence, women over 52, women in situations of long-term unemployment and women migrants
  • Defines professional profiles that these services can employ
  • Establishes a public system to professionally accredit care experience in the informal economy
  • Supports adapting spaces that are used for caring services
  • Local administrations receive support in the form of tool kits, a hotline and other resources from a gender-informed perspective
  • Follow-up based on indicators of use, results and impacts
  • Funding will be annual and there is a government commitment of continuity


Still in progress

We now exceed 20 million euros per year. If necessary, to equalise the effects on families, women and children, preferential access for certain communities of women and families is envisioned.

Due to particular socioeconomically-related obstacles to work-life balance –for instance, in accessing other services formally or informally– priority will be given to singleparent families, mothers/guardians who have suffered gender violence, women in situations of long-term unemployment, women over 52, women migrants and families with other care responsibilities.


Núria Vergés Bosch & Mar Garcia Puig

Care, Time Organization and Work Equity. Department of Equality and Feminisms. Government of Catalonia)

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