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Author Topic: The facts on daycare - Universal childcare of little benefit to children  (Read 1387 times)

Offline CareDC

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Subsidizing childcare has become one of the most controversial items on the Canadian policy agenda in recent years. The increased prominence of childcare as a political issue was brought about by a concerted advocacy campaign by those who believe a dramatic increase in childcare participation has the potential to bring a wide variety of benefits to Canadian society including superior academic performance and long-term increases in productivity.
A close examination of the research literature in this area reveals that these exciting promises of huge returns on childcare spending are built upon a shaky empirical foundation. A growing body of evidence suggests that for most children, the effects of most childcare interventions are extremely short lived and fade out almost entirely in only a few years. Furthermore, there is strong evidence that the long-term benefits of childcare that do exist are concentrated almost entirely among poor children, a fact that argues in favour of targeted subsidization rather than expensive universal programs. In addition to this ambiguity surrounding the purported long-term benefits of childcare subsidization, a growing body of literature suggests that lengthy periods of exposure to formal childcare may actually have a negative effect on child development, particularly in terms of social development and health outcomes.


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