WHAT IS OPTIMAL?
Andrea Hannen writes that the Ontario government should optimize its child care investments by relaxing some of the province’s few rules that — as she notes — constrain the profit-making childcare sector for which she is a key spokesman (“Daycares need less red tape,” Jan. 26). What this means depends on what you mean by optimize. For big and small childcare owners, loosely tied public dollars through tax credits, reducing municipalities,’ schools’ and unions’ roles in childcare, “eliminating red tape,” and so on, are the way to go to optimize profits at public expense. If you think, however, that optimizing childcare means making it more accessible, affordable and better quality, for-profit childcare is shown to be highly inefficient. Research shows that it gobbles up public funds, optimizing them right into owners’ and shareholders’ pockets, while delivering poorer quality, less stable services, higher parent fees, fewer trained staff with lower wages. To me, that is not optimizing childcare — just misuse of public childcare money.
Childcare Resource and Research Unit
(The bottom line is what we are doing right now isn’t working)