children playing

Early years plan long overdue [CA]

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version
Friendly, Martha
Publication Date: 
14 Nov 2002

See text below.


RE: One battle Chrétien could still win. Opinion, November 13.

Carol Goar is absolutely right in her observation that child care is fundamentally important for low-income single mothers, most of whom are or would be if they could be in the labour force.

All children deserve high quality early childhood education and child care but, after all these years of talk about the importance of the early years, few Canadian children of any income can access it.

Thirty years ago, Canada began subsidizing child care for low-income families not generously or adequately enough, to be sure. However, why this narrow approach is outdated even atavistic has become obvious as child development research accumulates. While Canadian social policy continues to stagnate, today most developed countries have services that blend early childhood education and child care, publicly funded for all young children, well in place.

We, too, need a national strategy for universal early childhood education and care. It's high time.

Martha Friendly, Childcare Resource and Research Unit University of Toronto

-Reprinted from The Toronto Star