Governments and the general public throughout Canada are showing renewed interest in developing educational childcare. The 2017 federal budget has pledged to transfer $700 million per year for childcare to provinces over the next 10 years, which is a modest, but meaningful, step in this area.
Meanwhile, conservative think tanks such as the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) and the Fraser Institute of Vancouver are on alert. They have published harsh negative assessments of Quebec’s 20-year-old experience with low-fee universal educational childcare.1 While their usual antigovernment bent is manifest, their arguments must be pondered seriously. I address these arguments in what follows, while taking stock of Quebec’s childcare program and noting what other provinces seeking to develop comparable programs might learn from it.
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