Here’s a good editorial from Andrea Mrozek in the Ottawa Citizen, explaining how the bloated Liberal government that I blogged about recently is using a “public option” to stamp out stay-at-home moms and private child care options.
Lisa MacLeod, MPP for Nepean-Carleton, found out the hard way that Ontario’s new all-day kindergarten will be somewhat less flexible than families were led to believe.
Her five-year-old was denied the opportunity to remain in half-day programming, because the school was chosen for full-day kindergarten. Alarming, yes, but not surprising. Province-wide, taxpayer-funded early learning programs spell the end of choice in child care.
You may remember Lisa MacLeod from this post in which I talked about her defending free speech in Canada.
More from the editorial:
[…]So how exactly is the Ontario Ministry of Education legislating choice out of existence?
For starters, simply by introducing a monolithic taxpayer funded plan — legitimate and regulated child care providers can’t compete. When the government subsidizes a service, it means others are put out of business.
All-day kindergarten also takes five-year-olds out of existing centres. These children are a day-care’s bread and butter. Care of five-year-olds is substantially cheaper than infant care, which runs into the tens of thousands of dollars annually. Since no child-care centre could possibly charge parents the true infant price, they have balanced their businesses by charging less than the real cost for younger kids and more for older ones. The older ones who will now enter the “free” state centres.
Families with a spouse who stays home are, as usual, totally pooched. Their taxes will rise for a service they don’t ever choose to use.
And she concludes:
Families understand budgets in a manner that governments clearly do not. When your money runs out, you understand that it’s not the time to book a vacation or add a latté a day. But in the last budget, McGuinty revealed a deficit of $19.7 billion and introduced new program funding of a billion dollars over five years for all-day kindergarten. Let the deficit rise, especially considering the real cost of all-day kindergarten should see that billion dollars almost double for one year alone.
In the end, the government will be the monopoly provider, giving you one solo choice. They don’t delicately tailor programs to meet personal needs. The Disneyland imagery of a better world courtesy of universal early learning programs has got to go — it’s not true in the research, and it’s not true in the reality on the ground. The truth is that government is substantially curtailing your choices while spending your money like a drunken sailor, for little to no proven returns.
They call that “equality”. Everyone has the same outcome, regardless of their personal choices.
You can find the PDF of her editorial at the Institute for Marriage and Family Canada’s web site.