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Culture & Society

Why Day Care Matters

New report by U of T economists support advocates of publicly funded child care

Public funding of early childhood education and care is essential for the well-being of young children, their families and society, according to a report by U of T economists.

“The vast majority of women with young children are in the labour force, so good day care matters,” says Michael Krashinsky, an economics professor at U of T at Scarborough (UTSC) and co-author of “Fact and Fantasy: Eight Myths about Early Childhood Education and Care.”

In the policy paper, Krashinsky and co-author Gordon Cleveland, also an economics professor at UTSC, examine common objections to publicly funded child care and provide a researched response to each. The authors counter such longstanding beliefs as: young children need full-time maternal care; child care harms children; public policy discriminates against mothers who stay at home; mothers would prefer to stay at home to care for their children; and child care erodes family values. The paper can be read online or ordered at www.childcarecanada.org.

“In Canada, we spend about $1 of public money on pre-school education and care for every $40 of spending on education at other age levels,” says Krashinsky. “We’re trying to arm advocates of publicly funded child care with facts for public debate.”

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