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Priority for prosperity: Replace patchwork and wishful thinking with focussed public investment in child care

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Brief to the Standing Committee on Finance, 2007 Pre-Budget Consultations
Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada
Publication Date: 
1 Aug 2007

Excerpts from the brief:

As the federal government prepares its 2008 budget, and seeks input on how to design the tax and investment system the country needs for a prosperous future, the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada urges strong federal leadership in developing and funding a comprehensive child care system that will support families in balancing their parenting and work responsibilities.

Though the Department of Finance promotes further debt reduction as an economic development strategy, there is compelling evidence that investing in child care services offers among the broadest benefits of any policy strategy a national government can adopt. Economic studies have repeatedly shown that the multigenerational benefits of focused, accountable investments in child care services outweigh the costs by at least 2 to 1. Further, access to quality child care services promotes health, advances women's quality, helps reduce child poverty, and deepens community social inclusion.

Yet, Canada continues to invest less in child care services than all of our peer nations &em; even though our economic conditions are stronger than most. In fact, federal transfers to provinces and territories specifically for child care services have dropped from $950 million in 2006 to $600 million in 2007 &em; even though substantial federal surpluses have been realized or forecast for both years.