Early education is key to future


By linking early child care and future economic competitiveness, Roger Martin and Richard Florida accomplished a rare feat in their recent report, "Ontario in the Creative Age." They rightly note that to make the transition to an economy that values people's creativity, social intelligence skills and cultural competency, Ontario needs good quality early child care and education programs. The challenge is that only a minority of our children have access to this kind of care.

 As UNICEF's recent report, "The Childcare Transition," says, investing in the early years yields higher social and economic returns than just about any other kind of investment in human capacity. Ensuring broad access to high quality early child care and education programs is an important foundation for moving successfully into the Creative Age. Unfortunately, the recent federal budget neglected this important investment opportunity. Ontario should not follow suit.

Nigel Fisher, President and CEO, UNICEF Canada