Peggy Nash promises early childhood education and child care. And she says the program will pay for itself.
Studies show that Quebec’s government subsidies to quality child care have paid for themselves by increasing the labour force participation rate of women and helping equalize the income gap between women and men. By 2008, 70,000 more women with young children had entered the Quebec workforce who would not otherwise have been working. The effect of their employment drove an additional $5.2 billion into the Quebec economy. This increased economic activity more than covered the province’s annual child care costs in that year and provided the federal government with $700 million in additional revenue. According to leading Quebec economist Pierre Fortin, for every dollar Quebec invests in its child care program, it recoups $1.05 and Ottawa receives 44 cents: “The argument can no longer be made that governments cannot afford this. The program is paying for itself.”