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A poll reveals Canadians prefer a national child care system to the Harper government’s $100 monthly cheque by a ratio of 2 to 1.

The Harper government established its “Universal Child Care Benefit” when they cancelled the Liberals plans for a national early childhood education and child care program.

Almost twice as many Canadians said that setting up the national early childhood education and child care program is preferable (58%) to a monthly allowance of $100.00 (31%).

“The demand for a system of child care services has not subsided but in fact has significantly increased since 2006,”said Paul Moist.

Support is particularly high in the Atlantic with 63% in favour of a national child care system and 30% preferring the $100 monthly allowance.  The results are comparable in Quebec – 64% to 31%, and Ontario 62% to 27%.  

“Centres are closing and staff shortages are rampant. If families are lucky enough to find a child care space, fees are between $600 and $1,500/month,” added Martha Friendly, a Toronto-based a policy researcher who has been tracking Canadian child care for 30 years.
According to a 2006 OECD report, Canada had the lowest public investment and service access rates, and among the highest parent fees.

Nanos Research conducted a random telephone survey of 1,201 Canadians from October 4 to October 6, 2008.  The margin of accuracy for a sample of 1,201 is +/- 2.8%, 19 times out of 20.

Poll results