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TORONTO—Given Canada’s modest economic growth prospects going forward, we cannot afford everything we would like to do as a nation. This means making hard choices. My hard choice would be to put pharmacare on the back burner and make early childhood development and care the priority. While there are good social reasons to put the emphasis on early years spending—it can significantly improve life chances for the next generation—there is also a strong economic reason which is that

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Feds’ early learning and childcare commitment of $7.5-billion over 11 years should head the list of national priorities

By David Crane       

This is surely a compelling investment for a more inclusive economy, opening more opportunities for women, while also building better life chances for the youngest Canadians.

In June last year the federal and provincial governments signed the grandiloquent Multilateral Early Learning and Childcare Framework, with Employment and Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos acting for the federal government. The document promised a shared commitment to high quality, accessible, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and childcare, with federal funding of $1.2-billion to the provinces in agreements running to 2019-2020 and open to renewal after that. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade
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