Statement made on 04 March 2009 by Senator Art Eggleton
Hon. Art Eggleton:
Honourable senators, I hear the statistics, but I also hear from many individuals, organizations and leaders across the country that people have a hard time obtaining quality early learning and child care; that they cannot access these facilities for their children because of long waiting lists. Others to whom the government is trying to give a choice with the Universal Child Care Benefit program say that the costs far exceed the support provided. One hundred dollars a month does not access quality child care. The government does not give these parents a choice.
Many people have said that investing in quality early childhood education and child care is good economics and good social policy. Economists, bankers and early childhood development commentators such as Dr. Fraser Mustard and the Honourable Margaret McCain have said that early childhood education and child care are key for Canada's path to prosperity and the development of our most precious asset in this country, our children.
A Canadian cost benefit study furthers this view by showing that high quality early learning childhood education and care produces $2 in social and economic return to our society for every dollar invested.
Why did the government not invest meaningfully in early childhood education and care in the recent budget, rather than making only small modifications?
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