Globe and Mail Series on Child Care – selected articles and excerpts

What might a national daycare program cost?
The Globe and Mail
Research: Lynell Anderson and Paul Kershaw of the Human Early Learning Partnership at UBC’s School of Population and Public Health

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PEI and Quebec offer lessons on improving child care across Canada
ERIN ANDERSSEN
SOURIS, PEI — The Globe and Mail
Oct. 24 2013

For a top-notch child-care system close to home, Canadians should look to the country’s smallest province.

Over the past two years, Prince Edward Island has launched what many experts consider the most comprehensive child-care strategy since Quebec brought in its renowned low-fee program in 1997….

Here are 10 lessons that should guide a national discussion to improve child care in the rest of the country.

1. Make the economic case clear….
2. Call it education….
3. Create enough regulated care spaces….
4. Make fees affordable, consistent – and capped….
5. Train the teachers – and pay them for it….
6. Location, location, location….
7. Infant care is complicated….
8. After-school care shouldn’t be an afterthought….
9. Parents are part of the system….
10. Set a target, track your progress….

Currently, Canadian governments are using drips of money to put a Band-Aid on a broken system, suggests Peter Moss, an international child-care expert at the Institute of Education at the University of London, “instead of sitting down saying, ‘This is the model we want to move towards – and it’s going to be done step by step.’”

That also means, he says, accepting that a high-quality system may take decades to build.

That requires policy-makers to have good statistics to plan where child-care spaces are needed, to track whether program targets are being met and to be accountable to taxpayers. As it stands, provinces don’t clearly know how many families are currently on wait lists for regulated spots, let alone how many are using unlicensed care – which a mandatory public registry could correct….

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The real parent trap: daycare costs
ROB CARRICK
The Globe and Mail
Oct. 23 2013

It’s natural for young families to face financial pressures as they juggle the cost of housing and kids….

Daycare is the hidden menace, financially. It’s amazing that such a massive cost gets so little mention outside gatherings of cash-poor parents. A study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development indicates that upper-income Canadian families with two working parents pay the equivalent of 18 per cent of their net income, on average, for daycare. In a separate study, monthly average costs for infants range from $1,152 in Ontario to $631 in Manitoba. Quebec, the outlier, averages $152.

Average monthly fees, full-day daycare centres by age group in 2012 – See chart

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Desperation forces parents into ‘grey market’ of unlicensed daycare
ERIN ANDERSSEN
The Globe and Mail
Oct. 22 2013

A shortage of government-regulated space is among Canada’s most pressing child-care problems.

Across the country, families are forced to rely on the “grey market” – leaving their children with caregivers who may not even have first-aid training, paying whatever is asked, and hoping for the best….

But to expand regulated child care, Canada would have to overcome its current shortage of certified educators – a problem compounded by their low pay and high turnover….

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The case for publicly funded child care in Canada
ERIN ANDERSSEN
The Globe and Mail
Oct. 20 2013

“In last week’s 7,100-word Throne Speech, child care got 64 of them.”

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The procreative class: How cities can help on the child-care front
By ERIN ANDERSSEN
The Globe and Mail
Oct. 21 2013

In 2004, when he published his bestselling The Rise of the Creative Class, University of Toronto urban scholar Richard Florida says that cities were neglecting talented young professionals – couples like Gillian and Chris Quigley, cosmopolitan twentysomethings who arrived a few years ago from London, keen to live in the heart of Vancouver.

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