Ready for Life: A Socio-Economic Analysis of Early Childhood Education and Care

The Conference Board of Canada, 96 pages, October 26, 2017
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This report explores the impact of early childhood education (ECE) on the Canadian economy and highlights its potential to improve socio-economic outcomes including the reduction of poverty and income inequality.

Document Highlights

  • Expanding early childhood education in Canada would increase female labour market participation, improve child outcomes (especially for disadvantaged children), and reduce Canada’s income inequality.
  • By allowing more women to enter the labour force, the introduction of an expanded ECE program would result in about 23,000 families—many of them single-parent families—being lifted out of poverty.
  • Given the substantial positive benefits to society and the economy, there is a strong case for expanding ECE services.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1—Introduction

Chapter 2—The Impact of Early Childhood Education on Society and the Economy

  • The Impact on Female Labour Force Participation Rates
  • Income Inequality, Social Benefits, and ECE
  • Labour Market Outcomes for Children Receiving ECE
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis of ECE Programs
  • Summary

Chapter 3—Early Childhood Education in Canada

  • An Overview of ECE in Canada
  • ECE Enrolment in Canada
  • Does Canada Provide Quality ECE?
  • Potential Gains in Canadian Labour Force Participation

Chapter 4—Cost-Benefit Analysis of ECE Investments in Canada

  • Methodology and Assumptions
  • Results

Chapter 5—Impact of ECE Investments on Inequality

  • Methodology and Assumptions
  • Results

Chapter 6—Policy Recommendations

Appendix A—Summary of the Literature

Appendix B—Bibliography

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