Early Learning and Childcare as Key Economic Infrastructure

Deloitte Canada, March 26, 2021

Investments in early childhood education and childcare ("ELCC") can help put Canada on a higher trend economic growth path. A high-quality ELCC program that young children can attend for several years, where education is provided using a curriculum-based program delivered by trained educators can provide several benefits including:

  • Benefits to Children: Investments can have positive impacts on the outcomes for children, including better behavioural/social skills, better mental and physical health, and better long-term labour market outcomes.
  • Increase in the Labourforce Participation for Women: Expanding early childhood education can have a positive economic impact through a resulting boost in the labour participation of women.
  • Benefits to Parents: Beyond increasing workforce participation for women, ELCC can help reduce parental stress, which benefits their mental health and in turn benefits their children, work performance, and standard of living.
  • Promotion of Equality: There is also evidence that investments in ELCC disproportionately benefit lower income Canadians and this can help address socioeconomic challenges, such as income inequality.
  • Decreased Reliance of Special Needs Education: There is evidence of the sustained impact of ELCC on reducing the need for special education in the US, the UK, Canada, and other advanced economies.

These gains create additional income that provide tax revenues to governments and reduce the demand for government transfers and other support programs. The purpose of this report is to highlight the literature on early childhood education ("ECE") to demonstrate why further investments are necessary and how we can achieve a preferably universal system of early learning and childcare that will benefits our economy and society.

  • Access the Executive Summary:

Also see the March 26, 2021 Future of Canada Conversations – Are we on the right track for Canada to thrive? webinar featuring Craig Alexander, Chief Economist and Executive Advisor, Deloitte Canada, Georgina Black, Managing Partner, Government, Public Services, and Health Care, Deloitte Canada, and the Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain.

  • Access the Early Learning and Childcare as Key Economic Infrastructure presentation slides (PPT)

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