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Fact and fantasy: Eight myths about early childhood education and care

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Cleveland, Gordon and Krashinsky, Michael
Publication Date: 
24 Jul 2003

Available in print for order and online for order.

This paper examines eight myths often used to argue against public support for early childhood education and care. Its main objective is to respond to these eight myths, to subject them and associated research to critical scrutiny, and to respond in a popular fashion. Research evidence and logic are combined to provide a readable, economically-oriented critique to these frequently heard assertions. The myths are:

- Young children need full-time care from their mothers.
- Child care harms children.
- Families should pay for their own child care.
- Parents always know best.
- Stay-at-home mothers are discriminated against in public policy.
- Mothers would prefer to stay home.
- Child care erodes family values.
- We can't afford early childhood education and care.

Chapters follow a common format. Each briefly characterizes the nature of the myth being addressed followed by a point-by-point ten to fifteen page critique of the case, with evidence from both research and economic theory. A brief point-form summary of the main arguments is presented at the end of each chapter.

An accompanying BRIEFing NOTE summary is available with this paper. See AVAILABILITY above for link.