A new report from TD’s chief economist Craig Alexander confirms what proponents of early childhood education have said for more than two decades.
Quality child care programs lead to superior cognitive and language development, as well as improved numeracy. Children who enter the school system after being in child care repeat grades less often, usually graduate on time and have a higher likelihood of attending college or university.
“One of the challenges we have as a country is we view early child care almost as welfare, whereas it really should be thought of as education and development,” Alexander said in an interview with the Ottawa Citizen.
Canada spends just one quarter of one per cent of its annual GDP on child care, putting it dead last among comparable European and English-speaking countries, the report says.
Even after factoring in family support — including child payments, parental leave benefits and child care support — public spending in Canada is 17 per cent below the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) average.
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