Special report from TD Economics says investment in early years should be top priority

Toronto Dominion Bank

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.

Watch excellent coverage on Global TV News including an interview with our coordinator here.

To read an excellent article about the report in the Ottawa Citizen, click here.

Click here for another great article from the Toronto Star.

To read the full report, click here. For slides from a power point presentation on the report including great charts like those pictured below, click here.