Canada should spend more on early childhood education, new report says

The Globe and Mail | February 19, 2020

Excerpt: "Canada risks its competitiveness if it fails to invest in the learning and development of the country’s youngest children, according to a new report that is calling on the federal government to spend more on universal early childhood education.

The report, being released on Thursday by the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation Inc., found that Canada ranks almost at the bottom of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries – 33rd out of 35 – for the number of children aged 5 and younger who regularly attend an early childhood education program. That means only one in two children attend a program.

The report – The Early Years Study 4: Thriving Kids, Thriving Society – says that Canada would need to increase its spending from the current $12.1-billion to $20-billion annually to reach the average OECD enrolment level of 70 per cent. It calls on the federal government to spend an additional $1-billion a year until the shortfall is covered, because it said that, up until now, the provinces and territories have been carrying the bulk of the costs."

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