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Canadians' attitudes toward national child care policy

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Environics Research Group
Publication Date: 
20 Jun 2006

Excerpts from the report:

The findings of this survey reveal a number of things about Canadians' overall attitudes towards the issue of child care, their opinions about various policy options, and the potential political impact of these.

First of all it is clear that the Canadian public places a high value on child care programs and the importance of affordable child care to the fabric of society. The vast majority regard the lack of affordable child care to be a serious problem, and there is almost unanimous agreement on the need for governments to play a role in helping parents meet their child care needs. Moreover, this view is by no means limited to parents of young children (although this group may be among the strongest proponents), but holds true for Canadians across all demographic and regional strata, as well as across political party affiliations. There is a strong public consensus that child care programs are beneficial both in terms of the benefits they provide to children in early development and in preparing them for school, as well as in helping parents, particularly those with lower incomes, participate in the work force. Consistent with this viewpoint, Canadians strongly oppose a move by the federal government to cut funding for research into child care as well as cutting funding to the provinces to help monitor the quality and delivery of child care services.