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Investing in childhood education and care: Questions for Martha Friendly

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Policy Dialogue, No. 18
Bell, Patricia
Publication Date: 
1 May 2008


Patricia Bell from the School of Journalism at the University of Regina interviews Martha Friendly following the publication of "Child Care Space Statistics 2007". In 2005, Martha wrote a paper for SIPP entitled "Early Learning and Child Care in Saskatchewan: Past, Present and Future". In this article published in the Spring 2008 issue of Policy Dialogue, Martha further addresses the need for robust public policy on this issue in Saskatchewan and the rest of Canada.

Excerpts from Martha Friendly:

"While all of the provinces have fairly limited child care, Saskatchewan has the lowest coverage &em; that is, ratio of spaces to children. As well, the subsidy system is quite restrictive, so access to the existing spaces is very difficult for low income families. Like the rest of Canada, development of child care is ad hoc and market-driven, which keeps access even more uneven."

"Today most experts agree that good quality child care is early childhood education and that splitting up a child's day into 'learning' and 'non learning' parts is a misunderstanding of how young children learn…Yes, books are a part of early learning, but high quality early learning programs are those aimed at the whole child, not merely the school readiness part, and intertwined between learning and care."

The article can be found on pages 5 to 7 of the Policy Dialogue issue through the availability link above.