Corporate child care is not the solution for New Brunswick

New Brunswick Times and Transcript and Straight Goods
By Jody Dallaire, involved in the New Brunswick women’s movement and a member of Dieppe City Council and chair of the Dieppe Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunity between Women and Men.

… Bottom line, when I say ‘big business,’ few people think ‘child care’ or ‘early learning’ services.

But big business is setting up shop in the delivery of early learning and child care services in Canada. It used to be that examples of child care conglomerates could only be found abroad. Not anymore.

Currently there are a number of Canadian-based child care chains. One of them is even publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Venture Exchange (TSX-Venture)….

Is corporate child care a bad thing?

Let’s just say that it does not have a good track record. ….

Countries that do child care well, namely where services are widely available, affordable, inclusive and of high quality, have policies that provide for services that are publicly funded and publicly managed. They are also operated on a non-profit or public basis. None of the countries that treat child care as a private business have a track record of equitable access to high quality programs.

Already Canada has a dismal international record on early learning and child care. We cannot afford any costly mistakes. UNICEF, Save the Children and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), all give Canada extremely poor rankings in terms of meeting suggested standards for child care services. Each of these organizations has published reports which place Canada last among developed countries….



Letter of the day: Column on child care highlighted risks
Published Tuesday May 31st, 2011
Times and Transcript
By Sandy Harding, Saint John

To The Editor:

Regarding “Corporate child care is not the solution” in the Times & Transcript of May 26, kudos to Jody Dallaire for explaining the risks of big business delivering early learning and child care.

When it comes to early learning and child care a public system is best because it is more accessible, more stable, provides higher quality care and pays better wages for workers. There is no place for profit in child care. Child care providers must be beholden to the children and families they care for, not their shareholders.

Quality public and not for profit early learning and care services reduce poverty, increase employment, and stimulate the economy. These programs build strong communities as the services can be planned and be accountable.

In Australia, where there were a large number of corporate operators, the private providers invested about 50 per cent of revenue on staff costs, compared to 75 per cent of revenue in public and not-for-profit centres.

Higher wages result in less staff turnover and greater quality for children and parents – another good reason to keep early learning and child care public.