This paper is an empirical survey on both the provision and the funding of childcare services in Italy. To this purpose, national financial laws, regional laws as well as Italian municipalities’ budgets are analyzed. First of all we describe the funding mechanism of the service pointing out the relationship between different government levels. Secondly, we propose demand and supply indexes for 20 territorial clusters using data at the municipal level. The analysis shows that, de facto , the aim of the service is conceived in different ways by local governments. This implies uncoordinated policy interventions by the different levels of government as well as a huge unbalanced territorial distribution of both demand and supply. The characteristics of the local demand for the service seem to be crucial elements to promote an efficiency improvement of public expenditure for this service.
Keywords: Asili nido, Livelli di governo, Spesa pubblica, Comuni
Jel Code: H44, H53, H72, H77