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Archive for 'early learning'

Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy

December marked the three-year anniversary of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. While I believe there is much to celebrate, much remains to be done. The Strategy surprised a lot of observers, especially in light of the fact that it was announced in December 2008, just as Ontario was entering a recession.  Its focus was almost exclusively […]

Early learning developments in BC

Having already eaten the NDP’s lunch on the climate change file, the BC Liberals (the second-term, more moderate Liberals) threaten to do the same on early learning and child care. In the 2008 Throne Speech, the government said that it would study expansion of full-day kindergarten to five-year-olds, then to four- and three-year olds. But […]

Early learning and child care strategies

For as long as I can remember (i.e. when I was a kid) Ontario has had junior kindergarten for four-year-olds. It is mostly half-day, I think, as is senior kindergarten for five-year olds. Here in BC they just have one kindergarten for five-year-olds, and is generally two-and-a-half to three hours per day. In the recent […]

Why we need to expand early learning programs

In a Vancouver Sun feature article, UBC’s Hillel Goelman reviews evidence on early childhood education and makes the case for universal pre-kindergarten for three- and four-year-olds. Dollar for dollar this is probably the best investment would could make as a society. But progress has been slow, as it has been framed as a family issue […]

Early learning lessons from the UK

A report from the front lines of the battle over early learning and child care in the United Kingdom, which appears to be in a similar space as Canada – supported by academic and policy elites, but with too little action on the political side to overcome the great inertia of the existing patchwork system. […]

Expenditure Management: Conservative Style

Budget 2007 promised a new Expenditure Management System and provides a glimpse of what the Conservatives might have in mind. The Budget Plan boldly “proposes to provide a 25-per-cent investment tax credit to businesses that create new child care spaces” (p. 124). However, it allocates no money for this “Investment Tax Credit for Child Care […]

Child-Care Flip: A Flop in the Right Direction?

One problem with the new Conservative child-care transfer appears to be that it would provide less money to provincial governments than the NDP-Liberal plan would have. Another problem is that it may entail even fewer guidelines about how the money is used. Nevertheless, this new approach seems much better than the Conservatives’ previous policy of […]

Early childhood education: lessons from Oklahoma

Canada, with the notable exception of Quebec, continues to lag when it comes to early childhood education. The research says that the most important brain development happens between birth and age six, so why do we wait until age six before we have kids in school full-time (most kindergarten programs are “half-day”, generally three hours […]

Benefits of early learning programs

Today my boss walked in with a notice from his child’s daycare that fees were going up because the Tories have cancelled the Early Learning and Child Care transfer (and the BC government is not picking up any slack in spite of its multi-billion surpluses) – the fee increase eats up his family’s new “child […]

Income Splitting Redux

On October 31, Finance Minister Flaherty announced that pension income could be divided between spouses for tax purposes. More recently, he mused about allowing spouses to divide all income for tax purposes. This latter proposal would benefit an affluent minority at the expense of important public programs and create a disincentive for women to engage […]

Big Payoff from Pre School Programs

http://www.upjohninst.org/publications/newsletter/TJB_1006.pdf In a major study for the Upjohn Institute, Timothy J. Bartik calulates the macro economic impacts of high quality universal preschool education for the US,  based mainly on studies of the  impacts of a well-studied, high quality program (the Chicago Child-Parent Centre program, a half day program for four year olds with 2 teachers […]

OECD on Child Care and Early Learning

The following is from Roland Schneider of the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD. We live in curious times when the impeccably neo liberal OECD is positioned well to the left of the federal government on this issue. It goes without saying that trade unions across the OECD have been campaigning for accessible, affordable […]

Cheques in the mail

A few weeks ago, the Canada Revenue Agency sent my family our 2006 Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) paperwork. At the time, what struck me was no mention whatsoever of the new Harper government’s “child care” allowance. This seemed a major omission and I wondered if we would have to fill out some more paperwork […]