Rebecca Millette

News

Quebec’s massively-funded daycare program ‘very low’ quality: expert

Rebecca Millette

MONTREAL, Quebec, May 12, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Quebec’s heavily-funded and long-advocated daycare system fails to improve children’s educational outcomes, says an economics expert from the province.

Costing parents a mere $7-a-day, Quebec’s heavily-subsidized daycare program has been promoted by the government as a means to advance “socialization” and learning.  Yet, Universite du Quebec economics professor Pierre Lefebvre from Montreal blames the Quebec government for the fact that it’s never met these lofty expectations.

Quebecers were told the system would “promote children’s development so they would perform better in school later,” he told the Toronto Sun. “This never happened.”

His research, conducted between 1994 and 2006 on children under 5 years old in Quebec and compared with children of the same age group throughout Canada, shows a “serious quality problem,” he said. “I would go as far as to say that daycare quality is very low, both in terms of educators’ formation and in terms of the quality of interactions between educators and children.”

Lefebvre’s findings echo the research of Jonas Himmelstrand of Sweden, guest speaker at a recent family policy conference in Ottawa put on by the Institute of Marriage and Family.

Himmelstrand, who has studied Sweden’s similarly defective daycare and family policies for years, told LifeSiteNews that the highly subsidized and promoted daycare systems, far from creating better families and children, result in parent-child alienation, poorer social and educational development, and oftentimes the breakdown of families.

Despite such studies, Swede and Quebec families who choose to keep their young children at home have faced inordinate economic challenges, and even more serious difficulties in some cases.

Recently a Quebec judge even ordered a three-year-old and a five-year-old of a homeschooling family in Quebec to attend state-funded day care based on claims that the children lacked proper “socialization.” 

Paul Faris of the Canadian branch of the Home School Legal Defense Association, who have backed the family’s case, told LifeSiteNews this is the latest in the Quebec government’s ongoing effort to “clamp down on choice in education.”

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