In Quebec, families pay $7 a day for childcare. Or, to put it into terms I can directly relate to, if our family lived in Quebec, we would have $862 a month more in our pockets. $10,344 more in disposable income each year.
Talk about an economic stimulus package.
But beyond the economics for working families, the societal benefits in Quebec have been dramatic. According to research done by CBC’s The Current, in the 10 years since Quebec has adopted universal child care (at a cost of around $1.8 billion dollars per year for 209,000 children), Quebec has seen their child poverty rate cut in half, school test scores have gone from the lowest to highest in Canada, and maternal labour force participation has gone from the lowest to the highest in Canada.
Now, not all of these outcomes are solely the result of the implementation of universal child care, but it is hard to argue with the author of the program when she asserts that the universal child care system has been a major contributor in each of these factors.
That author is Pauline Marois, the current leader of the Parti Québécois in Quebec. Pauline Marios was recently recognized as a Champion for Child Care by the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care. Gordon Campbell and Stephen Harper, I hope you are taking notes.