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Time to help shape a national child care strategy?

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deGroot-Maggetti, Greg
Publication Date: 
30 Sep 2004

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Excerpts from the article: Child care is atop the national policy agenda in a way it has not been for more than a decade. The Paul Martin government lists creating a national child care program among its three main priorities &em; alongside health care and a cities agenda. Now is an excellent time to engage the many questions that cluster around arrangements for the nurturing of Canada's children. For example: - Would not a national child care program discriminate against families with a stay-at-home parent? - Why not just subsidize child care for poor, single parent families? - Why not just cut taxes and let parents buy the child care they want? Where does CPJ come down on the current questions? CPJ's position rests on where we start, our vision of society. In the public justice perspective, the person is a social being. Community is a constitutive dimension of what it means to be human. We are not merely individuals who make contracts to get needs met. We are born into some communities &em; for example, our families and countries of origin &em; and we choose freely to join other communities. Therefore, the role of government is not just to assure that individuals are free to enter into contracts and relationships of their choosing. Government exists also to help society's varied institutions and communities to maintain the resources they need to fulfill their role in contributing to the common good. We will never stop needing devoted, confident and delighting parents, whose love and care for their children builds hope for our future and enlivens our present. We also need public support for the programs and services that help parents in their multiple roles as mothers and fathers, workers, neighbours and citizens. Good quality child care is one of those services.