Fact and fantasy: Eight myths about early childhood education and care - Summary

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Gordon Cleveland and Michael Krashinsky
30 Jul 2005


This BRIEFing NOTE summarizes Fact and fantasy : Eight myths about early childhood education and care by Gordon Cleveland and Michael Krashinsky, Economics, Division of Management, University of Toronto at Scarborough.


"There are a significant number of Canadians who have doubts about public funding for child care services. A series of myths that reflect these concerns is frequently heard in public debate. These are heard on open-line radio shows, regularly recycled by cantankerous newspaper columnists, recited by members of federal and provincial parliaments in opposition to child care funding, and used to convince governments to favour inaction over action on early childhood education and care.

These myths are repeated so often that they have acquired a semblance of credibility. Paradoxically, they are so familiar that they are rarely examined carefully.

However, when these are subjected to careful scrutiny, they rapidly shrink in size. Arguments against child care that seem powerful soon become minor concerns easily handled by intelligent and sensitive government policy. The closer we look, the larger the benefits of good quality early childhood education appear; the cost of inaction appears larger as well.

This summary presents what we call the "eight myths" and a brief response to each."

NOTE: This BRIEFing NOTE is also available in French.

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