When the Fraser Institute published a report recently on the cost of raising a child, the right-wing think tank claimed – with a straight face – that it costs between $3,000 and $4,500 each year. Author Christopher Sarlo also provided a helpful tip: Canadians can be thriftier when it comes to raising their children.
The author just happened to exclude a huge expense when he did the number-crunching: cost of child care. Parents outside Quebec who can’t access the province’s $7-a-day child-care program know how high this monthly expense is. The Fraser Institute’s annual child-rearing budget could be eaten up in a few months.
But measuring “the cost of raising children is laden with political implications stemming from vested interests that seek to increase entitlement programs for parents,” the report states.
That’s why it’s been so remarkable this week to read the Globe and Mail’s six-part series on child care, running through Friday.
Not known for its activist bent, the newspaper’s headline “The case for publicly funded child care” said it all. Here's a bit more for the Fraser Institute to chew on:
“Universal child care is a three-way economic stimulus program – it helps parents work (and reduces poverty), directly creates jobs for early childhood education, and if the early learning is good enough, gives a boost to the next generation of skills labour.”