Investing in child care is smart economics, research shows

    OTTAWA, Oct. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada should follow the proven strategies
of other forward-looking nations and invest in quality child care, says a
backgrounder citing research and experience that shows these investments are
"smart economics" on many levels. The backgrounder was released today by the
Code Blue for Child Care Campaign.
    "In this election, we are looking for a commitment to a publicly funded,
universal early education and care system to compete in the knowledge-based
21st century economy," said Jody Dallaire, Chair of the Child Care Advocacy
Association of Canada, part of the Code Blue campaign. "Good child care
contributes to economic prosperity and yields high economic returns."

    The backgrounder highlights the main findings of economic research on
returns to public investments in high quality child care:

    - Many economists, bankers and researchers have concluded that healthy
      child development helps prepare today's children to succeed in
      knowledge-based jobs that require lifelong learning.
    - Researchers in Canada have calculated that there is a 2:1 social and
      economic return for every dollar invested in quality universal child
      care. Long-term US studies show even higher returns for low income
      children, well over $3 or $4 for every dollar invested.
    - Quality child care significantly contributes to local economies through
      green job creation that keeps dollars in the community. In Manitoba,
      every dollar of child care spending produces a ripple effect of $1.58
      in the local economy. Many US studies have produced similar figures.
    - Quality child care increases women's lifetime earnings and helps keep
      them out of poverty, bolsters the workforce by enabling mothers to work
      outside the home and improves the economic stability of two-parent
    - Increased tax revenues from public investments in child care help
      offset service costs. In Quebec, 40 percent of the yearly costs of the
      childcare system are covered by the income and payroll taxes generated
      by increased maternal labour force participation.
    - Access to high quality affordable child care has been correlated with
      higher birthrates in some nations and can offset the negative effects
      of aging populations on the workforce. Child care is part of the labour
      force strategy adopted by the European Union for economic growth.

    "The families we talk to want public investments in quality child care
programs," said Code Blue spokesperson Shellie Bird. "Tax breaks won't build
child care, especially quality child care focused on healthy childhood
development, and can't help parents who don't have the money in the first
place." Bird said Code Blue was challenging the party leaders in the upcoming
election debates to commit to funding quality child care because it makes good
sense all around: it's good social policy and good economics."

For further information:

For further information: Jody Dallaire, (506) 961-1131; Shellie Bird,
(613) 233-0228; Jenny Robinson, (416) 938-2625

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