Full day schooling for 4 and 5 year olds an economic boost

OTTAWA, Aug. 30 /CNW Telbec/ - A major new study concludes that Ontario's decision to provide four- and five-year olds with full time schooling will do more than raise children's academic achievement. It will also result in a big boost for the province's economy.

The study, by the Centre for Spatial Economics, found that full day learning with extended childcare options provides a greater economic benefit than any other sector of the Ontario economy:

    
      Biggest job creator: every $1 million spent on early learning and child
      care creates 29 jobs: a third more than the number of jobs generated by
      $1 million in construction spending.

      Strong economic stimulus: every dollar invested in early learning and
      childcare increases the economy's output (GDP) by $2.02. This is one of
      the highest GDP impacts of all major sectors.
    

In addition, the study found that investments in early learning and child care more than pay for themselves in terms of benefits for society, with a $2.42 payback through increased earnings, improved health outcomes and reduced social costs.

Governments continue to invest heavily in infrastructure and construction industry stimulus. This study shows that investments in our social infrastructure, and especially in early learning and childcare are critical and provide a much stronger economic boost.

The study, led by well-respected economist Robert Fairholm of the Centre for Spatial Economics and released by the Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development at the University of Toronto, also analyzed the impact of spending on early learning and childcare in the City of Toronto and GTA and found similar benefits.

Other findings included:

    
    -  Early learning and care is associated with improved academic
       achievement and higher future employment earnings.
    -  Children enrolled in quality early childhood programs were less likely
       to smoke as teenagers and adults.
    -  Higher tax revenue is generated by the enhanced employment earning of
       parents today and the future earnings of their children.
    

Source: Fairholm

The complete study is available at www.oise.utoronto.ca/atkinson.

SOURCE ATKINSON CENTRE OF SOCIETY AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT/UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO

For further information: For further information: Kerry McCuaig, email: kmccuaig@rogers.com

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ATKINSON CENTRE OF SOCIETY AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT/UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO

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