Re Federal Child-care Aid Will Have More Women Working (Report on Business, Sept. 21)
I was delighted to see Bank of Nova Scotia’s chief executive urge Ottawa to significantly invest in child care. There is broad consensus that child care is essential for economic recovery and in the long term. The bank’s prescription, however – tax breaks and cash-to-parents – would be a case of right diagnosis, wrong medicine.
Analyses from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the International Monetary Fund show demand-side funding’s ineffectiveness for ensuring child-care affordability or making services available. Of countries that “enable more women to enter the work force and build a meaningful career,” there are none that fund child care using tax breaks, cash or vouchers. A-list countries fund it operationally: building publicly managed systems to make quality services accessible and sustainable in both good times and crises.
Based on the Throne Speech, it seems that the federal government has taken the Scotiabank diagnosis seriously, but seems prepared to prescribe the right medicine.
Martha Friendly, Childcare Resource and Research Unit, Toronto