Equal access to childcare services is a key concern of childcare policy. This article analyses social inequalities in the availability of such services. We explore how observed disparities are related to the socio-economic status of neighbourhoods and investigate how different provider types contribute to such differences. To do so, we use data on all childcare centres in the city of Vienna, Austria, on the spatial distribution of children aged under six and on three measures of neighbourhood status, over a period of eight years. We find that spatial accessibility is highest in neighbourhoods with the highest socioeconomic status, that such inequality has increased over time and that both effects can be attributed to the role of non-profits. The results indicate that the policy change undertaken in Vienna towards increased communitarisation - that is, a shift towards non-profit Provision - has undermined the universal character of the city's childcare system.
childcare spatial accessibility welfare mix non-profit sector Austria