Monday, 16 April 2012

Quebec's Daycare Policies Pay Their Way through Increased Tax Revenue

This is a story that I haven't seen in the English-language press: researchers at the University of Sherbrooke report that for every $100 Quebec has invested in inexpensive childcare, it has received $104 in tax revenues. (For an early version of the study see a presentation given by the authors last spring to a forum on early childhood care.)

While the rest of the country dithers about how much to support child care, Quebec's program of $7 a day, government-supported centres, supplemented by generous tax breaks for fees paid to private daycares, have meant an increase in the labour force participation rates of women which has spurred the economy. The study was reported at length in Le Devoir last week, and should be read both by family-advocates calling for better quality, more accesible day care and by penny-pinching government bean-counters.

The trio of economists who wrote the report--Pierre Fortin, Luc Godbout and Suzie St-Cerny--are far from being left-wing radicals. They spend their time studying the tax system and public finances, not leading marches in favour of social programs.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In 1993, in Toronto, I was working in theatre and tv, needed daycare, none available with my crazy hours, so I changed to a 9 to 5 job. At 40% less wages. Couldn't even PAY for off hour daycare in Toronto at that time. I remember being happy to hear that Chretien was working on a national day care system. Now, kids grown, one unemployed and living at home, and I hear I can't retire till I'm 67. Thanks for nothing....