Daycare Update

We're only a few days but we didn't open with the kids I expected. My waiting list is stacked towards August, September.


I'm not subsidized. We'll see.


This report from the Montreal Economic Institute is BANG ON and one I surmised quickly in the daycare industry.

"But before we try to replicate Quebec's child-care model coast to coast, Ottawa should take a close look at what that model has brought Quebecers. The answer: high costs, little choice, mediocre quality.

The stated goal of Bill C-303 is to "ensure the quality, accessibility, universality and accountability of [child-care] programs in order to promote early childhood development and well being." Is this goal really being met in Quebec?

One of the few extensive studies on the quality of Quebec child-care facilities reported in 2005 that 61% had an overall quality rated as minimal (with scores of 3 to 4.9 out of 7), while 12% were rated as inadequate and 27% as good. Government subsidy and regulation, clearly, does not ensure high quality."

$7 dollar a day was a pipe dream from the start. It sheltered people from the true costs of running a daycare. It's actually more advantage for people to pay a private daycare up front than pay $7 which usually results in mediocre services. Worse, it created an artificial demand of which I'm learning about. People, like sheep, are conditioned to look for $7 without realizing the cost to quality effect.

"Meanwhile, those with incomes between $25,000 and $40,000 are actually worse off financially than they would be using nonsubsidized child care at, say, $26 per day, given the overall effect of the government's program on their taxable incomes. So much for universality and accessibility.

The $7-a-day child-care system also results in unfair competition for unsubsidized private daycare operators, further limiting parents' choices. Since 1997, their market share has become negligible. They accounted for just 1.7% of all spaces in 2006."

How many times have we read about from learned people who know and understand business, government interventionism puts everything out of whack. What usually follows, once they mess things up, is a paternalistic approach. Also known as a crack down. Mme. Courchesne did a great job in education. She should do fine in daycare. The link applies to subsidized daycares.


"Thousands of centres in Quebec are subsidized to the tune of $33 a day per child."

Parents are charged $7. Who is paying the balance of $26?

MEI tackles the government's crack down on extra fees:

"Last year, with the stated aim of preventing "two-tier" child care from emerging, the Quebec government prevented subsidized private daycare centres from engaging in extra billing for supplementary activities. This coercive measure comes as a logical outcome of the centralization and standardization mindset that took over a decade ago. A group of parents is currently challenging this policy in court."

It's group think.

"The costs of the new child-care system seem high in comparison to what private unsubsidized daycare operators charge, and to what is charged in other provinces. One measure of subsidies is the daily basic allowance given by the government. In formal child-care facilities, this comes to about $40 per child - not even including the $7 parental contribution. In regulated private daycare centres, by contrast, the corresponding cost is $33."

And this cost figure is EXACTLY what I've observed and experienced. Basically, the base price a private day care should charge is maybe $38 to make some money.

Parents who think a daycare charging $40 or $45 is too expensive are unaware of what's going on. They should do extra research and visit as many daycares as they can to get a feel for how things work. It's the only way. Listening to only the government option is not enough.

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