Federal Budget Short-changes Canadian Children

​Toronto, May 2, 2006- Educators, parents, and school trustees are disheartened to learn that the Federal Budget has scrapped the previous child care agreements made with provincial governments.

Failing to uphold the federal-provincial child care agreements, the Prime Minister and his government have chosen to forego a once-in-a-generation opportunity to give our children the kind of start that assures their readiness to succeed in school and in life.

We have repeatedly urged the Prime Minister not to turn his back on the agreements made with the people of Canada. These federal-provincial agreements began to lay the foundation for a national child care system. They were not about partisan politics but about meeting the needs of Canadian children and their families.

Investing in our youngest children in the early years represents the most far-reaching and responsible investment we can make in Canada's future.

Research suggests that as many as one-quarter of Canada's young children may be developmentally vulnerable at school entry. Access to quality child care and developmental programs and services, both those that include parents and those that do not, can and do provide important benefits for Canadian children.

The research is overwhelming, consistent and irrefutable. A child's readiness to learn at the start of grade one is the single strongest predictor of how well the child will do in every grade, whether they will graduate successfully, what their earning potential will be, how positive their contribution to society will be and even how healthy they will be. Every child deserves the best possible start. The time to make that investment a reality was in today's budget.

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Rick Johnson
President
Ontario Public School Boards' Association

Emily Noble
President
Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

Rhonda Kimberley-Young
President
Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation

Winston Carter
President
Canadian Teachers Federation

Brian Peat
President
The Ontario Federation of Home and School Associations

For further information: Rick Johnson, OPSBA, (416) 804-4940
5/2/2006