Child Care Expansion Would Boost Economic Recovery, Study Finds

Vancouver, BC, Nov. 25, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Implementing a new national child care system would generate several important benefits for Canada’s economy as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and recession, according to new research from the Centre for Future Work in Vancouver.A universal national early learning and child care (ELCC) program would create over 200,000 direct jobs in child care centres, nearly 80,000 more jobs in industries which will get new business from an expanded ELCC sector, and facilitate increased labour force participation and employment by up to 725,000 Canadian women in prime parenting years.The report, prepared by economist Dr. Jim Stanford (Director of the Centre for Future Work), also projects large increases in Canadian GDP as a result of direct ELCC provision and increased female labour force participation. By the end of a 10-year implementation period, annual Canadian GDP would be $63-107 billion greater than it would have been without expanded child care.Extra government revenues collected as a result of increased economic activity would add $17 to $29 billion to government coffers per year – split between the federal and provincial governments. That would be more than enough to cover the total costs of a national ELCC program.“By substantially boosting employment and output, at a moment in history when Canada’s economy needs all the stimulus it can get, universal ELCC is a social program that quite literally pays for itself,” said Stanford.The recent federal Throne Speech committed to a rapid roll-out of a new national ELCC plan. This research indicates that such a plan would add significant momentum to Canada’s macroeconomy in the wake of the pandemic.Other key findings from the report include:A ten-year phase-in of universal ELCC would power the creation of 20,000 new direct jobs in child care centres per year.Upstream and downstream businesses will receive almost $10 billion in additional annual revenue as a result of expanded demand from the child care sector, supporting an additional 78,000 new jobs after 10 years. This includes an estimated 8,300 ongoing construction jobs building or retrofitting ELCC facilities.While most of the fiscal support for universal ELCC would come from the federal government, provincial governments would benefit enormously from the new system. Provincial government revenues would grow by $8-14 billion per year.The biggest employment gains from universal ELCC would be experienced in regions with the weakest existing ELCC systems: in particular, the prairie provinces and Ontario.“Economists have known for many years that high-quality, affordable early learning and child care generates economic benefits that far exceed its costs. With the economic and social crisis caused by COVID-19, those benefits are needed more than ever,” Stanford said.“The federal and provincial governments need to move forward with this plan as fast as they can,” Stanford concluded. “It’s an economic no-brainer.”The full report, The Role of Early Learning and Child Care in Rebuilding Canada’s Economy after COVID-19, can be accessed at The report was commissioned by the Child Care Now coalition.For further information or to arrange comment, please contact Morna Ballantyne at 613-791-3411 or ReportMorna Ballantyne
Child Care Now

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