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Flying in the face of countless studies, the solution posed by right-wing think tanks is to put money in the hands of parents instead of funding centres and programs.

But there is no point in putting money into parents pockets to pay for quality child care if none is available in their community. A coherent system of child care services cant be accomplished through a market model. Child care requires public investment, coordination and oversight.

The only study that questions comprehensive child care programs was published three years ago and re-released during the fall 2000 lobby for a national child care program. The Institute for Research on Public Policy study took a simplistic approach, only asking whether parents were better off during the previous Quebec family policy where funds were directed to parents or under the new policy directing funds to child care centres.

The studys dollars over sense approach ignores the families quality of life under the new program, as well as its impact on children. The conclusion of the report that most families were better off under the old system would be the equivalent of saying that families are better off if their children dont go to university because it would cost them less money.