Posted by Maiju Paananen · October 01, 2015 12:46 PM
As an early childhood researcher newly arrived from Finland, the current Canadian debate about universal childcare has been somewhat baffling.
In Finland, universal early childhood education and childcare (ECEC) means that if a child's parents want her/him to attend, the municipality in which they live is obliged to provide them with a place irrespective of the parents’ work/life situation.
It is pretty clear that in the often fractious environment of Canadian federalism, Canadians do better when multi-levels of government and political parties work together to put people’s well-being first.
This goes for all sorts of things — environmental protection, trade, securities regulation, infrastructure. Nowhere is it clearer than in the social policy arena of health, welfare and social provision.
Recent tensions in relationships between provincial governments and teachers, especially in British Columbia and Ontario, deserve to be understood in a wider context. Good labour relations in education and positive working relationships between provincial governments and teacher unions are a critical ingredient in the relative success of our public education system.
Canada's education system is generally recognized to deliver good results compared to most other countries.
After enduring well over a decade of broken promises, the prospects for publicly-funded child care in Canada looked good in the autumn of 2005.
The Paul Martin government proposed to create thousands of new day-care spaces and had also negotiated deals with most provinces and territories to turn a patch-work of often poor-quality services into a system of early learning and child care with national standards.
With a national child care program back on the front burner, it’s time we talk about the links between child care and child poverty.
Here’s the bottom line: affordable and reliable child care in Canada could help lift 300,000 children under six, and their low and modest income families, out of poverty.
Today, very few such families have access to regulated, high-quality and affordable child care. Instead, these families compete for regulated daycare spaces accessible to only about one in five children under six years old, most of which come with costs beyond their reach.
Columnist Andrew Coyne is a huge fan of the Conservative government's new income splitting proposal. It's in the interest of fairness, you see. Single-earner couples, so his logic goes, aren't getting a fair shake in being taxed more than their dual-earner couple counterparts with the same total income.
By now, however, we are familiar with some of the patently unfair aspects of the Conservative scheme. There's the fact that the tax giveaway stands to exclude single parent families that need the most help. Or that even with the $2,000 cap, benefits from income splitting will accrue disproportionately to wealthy single-earner families.