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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

$7-a-day childcare: Are parents getting what they need?

Economic Note by Norma Kozhaya

Quebec’s childcare providers are subsidized directly by the government, especially community childcare centres (Centres de la petite enfance or CPE) that emerged from a 1997 provincial government policy. CPEs are nonprofit organizations that provide daycare in formal facilities. Private daycares can also sign on to receive government subsidies. In exchange for the subsidies, CPEs and private providers offer services for minimal payment from parents. These spaces are often referred to as “$7-a-day childcare.”

Norma Kozhaya says this model of daycare benefits some parents and harms others. Researchers estimated that families with annual incomes between $25,000 and $40,000 were worse off under the new system, while families with incomes of $60,000 or more benefit most. Further, parents who do not use CPEs or participating private providers are at a disadvantage. According to the author, $7 - childcare creates unfair competition for unsubsidized private daycares, furthering restricting parents’ choices.

The author also states that the costs for the new system have increased much quicker than the development of new subsidized spaces. Kozhaya analyzes the costs of subsidized versus unsubsidized spaces. Further, she considers whether children and parents benefit under the new system. Kozhaya concludes that despite the promise of the new system being more equitable and universal, analysis reveals the opposite. The model is expensive and restricts families’ choices. The better alternative, she asserts, is to provide parents with greater choice.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Norma Kozhaya;
Publisher: Montreal Economic Institute [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2006; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: International; Regional;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF, Hard Copy

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Children & Family / Daycare & Childcare
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral / Quebec
Policy Articles / Children & Family
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral
Policy Articles / Children & Family / Daycare & Childcare / 2006
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral / Quebec / 2006

Keywords / Tags:

childcare; government; community child centres; private daycare; subsidized; equitable; universal;