The matter being addressed is the possible implementation of an Early Childhood Education and Care Program in Canada. brought to light the dissatisfaction with our lack of a universal system as well as the reservations concerning a new approach. Michael Krashinsky in “Canada needs an Early Childhood Education and Care Program” argues that it is in Canada’s best interest while Beverley Smith in “Equal Benefit to Children: What It Really Means” argues the contrary. Both enable us to analyze the issue with sufficient information defending and arguing each aspect.
When faced with such a decision one must consider the facts and how they pertain to his or her morals and values. It is clear that an Early Childhood Education and Care Program benefits the Canadian government at the expense of what is morally correct and thus should not be imposed. In “Canada needs an Early Childhood Education and Care Program” the author begins by stating that such a program will ultimately strengthen Canada both economically and socially. His first argument is that the number of mothers with children working in the labor force has significantly risen in the last 30 years and is likely to continue doing so.
Therefore persuading women to stop working for pay would require significant cash incentives that would be far more expensive than any childcare program put in place. The children of these working mothers require supervision that is of a better quality than many of the arrangements that are currently in place. The high quality ECEC program would allow for many parents to give their children the care that they would otherwise be financially unable to provide. The upbringing of Canadian children will ultimately benefit society as a whole because it will allow for a generation of productive, content, and involves citizens.
They will in turn pay higher taxes and consume fewer social services as will their parents who are entering the workforce. Also these children will be stimulated early on which will result in them being adequately prepared for higher levels of education. Finally Krashinsky argues that many women who leave the work force to care for their children are then at a disadvantage when re-entering the workforce due to need for training and lack of acquired skills. A good ECEC program will allow women the opportunity to combine paid work and family life.
This will encourage more women to enter the labor force and ultimately pay higher taxes that will allow for the government to finance the ECEC program. Krashinsky concludes his article by addressing critics that suggest ECEC is discriminatory against families who choose to raise their own children and critics who question Canada’s ability to afford such a program. In response, he states that any public program chooses to benefit those who use it over those who do not and lists public healthcare and employment insurance as examples.
Lastly, the author explains that money spent on young children, who are the future generation of our country, is money well spent and that it would ultimately be a wise investment. Beverley Smith in “Equal Benefit to Children: What It Really Means” begins by stating that her argument is not against the governments assistance to families with young children but rather that it should be given equally to all children and not solely those in daycare.
She first addresses the belief that there is a need for childcare centers by explaining that there are many alternatives being ignored such as relatives inside and outside the home and parents working from home. Options such as part-time employment are preferred by most parents whose desire is to spend as much time as possible with their children, however The ECEC program does not allow for this diversity in care. Daycare is not the preferred option and so why settle for what is in our child’s “second-best interest”. Each child has his or her own individual needs that a one-size fits all program is unlikely to meet.
Also, a smaller adult-baby ratio allows for a better learning environment and so it is unrealistic for daycares to claim that they are equal if not better than one on one parent-child education. Although daycare is monitored and inspected to ensure that it is maintaining its standard of care, the consequences of any neglect or abuse is much stronger for parents. The author argues that there is no democracy in the ECEC program as it is solely funding daycare and making all other options unaffordable thus denying women their right as a Canadian citizen to equal benefit.
An alternative to this program would be a tax credit initiative of around $4,000 per child for all families with young children. This would allow families the option of using the money to fund daycare or aid in forfeiting one’s salary. Smith concludes her article by reminding us that there is not a shortage of care but rather two kinds: one done for love and one done for money. The best care is in the home and thus the establishment of a program that discourages what is best should not be accepted.
I have chosen to side with Beverley Smith as I am in agreement with all of her arguments against the implementation of an ECEC program. It is important to consider the direction in which Canada’s society is heading as money and material goods are becoming more and more of a desire and necessity. Thirty years ago families were substantially larger than those we see today and still women were able to stay home and care for their children. It is possible for us to be financially stable and raise our children if we are willing to give up the three car garage and the trips down south twice a year.
The ECEC program is only encouraging this lifestyle and encouraging us to distance ourselves even more from our children at the expense of a higher salary. It is rewarding a parent who places their opportunity for financial success over a child’s opportunity to be raised to the best of one’s ability. Also, Michael Krashinsky in “Canada needs an Early Childhood Education and Care Program does not discuss what would become of children with special needs and learning disabilities under the ECEC program.
Not only would it cost more for specialized caregivers but the one-size fits all approach is not in the best interest of these children. It is unfair to punish these children by taking away the time and care they require. An alternative program to ECEC such as the tax credit initiative would further help parents of children with disabilities rather than discriminating against them. As the cousin of a child with cerebral palsy I have witnessed first had the importance of a one on one learning environment loving home.
As Beverley Smith stated, under article 29 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child the education of a child must respect the parents, his or her own cultural identity, language and values. The ECEC program does not allow for parents to influence a child in any of these areas. A child does not have the ability to learn a language other than the one offered in his or her daycare and the values and beliefs imposed during most of his or her early childhood will be those of the caregivers.
Canada is proud to be a multicultural nation and as such should not allow for the conformity that the ECEC program encourages. A Parent should be able to take pride in knowing that they had an impact on whom their child has grown to become and was there for all the monumental moments in their life as early on as their first word and their first step. I was raised by my grandfather and it was due to his artistic skills as a carpenter and encouragement that I developed my talent and passion for art.
It is talent and passion that I cherish today and would not have if I had spent the first years of my life at the hands of strangers. Bonding is the most important aspect of early childhood development, not intellectual stimulation. No amount of monetary compensation will result in the same amount of love delivered by a caregiver as that of a nurturing parent. Even in the best day-care centers children are presented with an ever-changing assortment of caregivers, preventing the most important task of a child; developing trust and bonding. The only way to show a child how to love is to show that child what love is.
A stay at home parent must put aside their career goals, at least temporarily, but unless they are researching a cure for cancer, there is a really good chance that they will be affecting the world in a much more important way by raising their young child and shaping a new adult. After having stayed home those first crucial years and it comes time for your child to enter the school system, everything that you have given of yourself, until that moment, will be there in that child. You will have prepared them to take on the world, or at the very least Kindergarten.
In conclusion I feel that the ECEC program does not benefit all children equally and discriminates against those with disabilities. Also it does not benefit all cultural backgrounds and religious beliefs thus encouraging conformity amongst our children. It promotes the growth of a society that is money oriented and salary driven. Lastly, it is unable to create the same loving and bonding experience that a parent needs to establish for his or her child. It is clear that a system aiding families with young children needs to be put in place however for the above reasons the implementation of the ECEC program is not in Canada’s best interest.
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