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In the public interest: The social and economic benefits of high quality child care

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Video produced by the Childcare Resource and Research Unit
Childcare Resource and Research Unit
Publication Date: 
1 Jan 2002

In Canada, child care programs serve children and families of diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. This video examines the characteristics and benefits of high quality programs citing two main reasons why quality child care is an important issue: first, the increasing number of women in the workforce and second, research showing the positive impact of high quality programs on how a child learns, regardless of the child's background or whether the mother works. The video identifies characteristics of high quality programs including stable and consistent caregiving, age-appropriate activities, good facilities and consistent routines. Characteristics of high quality caregivers include training in early childhood education, skills needed to encourage cooperative relationships, and a sympathetic, warm, caring demeanor. Structural factors contributing to high quality in a care program include substantial public funding, solid regulation and supervision, and not-for-profit operation.

The video notes that high quality child care is a unique program as it benefits several groups at the same time: children, families, women, employers, communities, and society at large and describes the benefits for each of these groups. The video concludes by advocating Canadian public policy to invest in high quality program standards.