Advocates had broad support, and the government started a childcare system intended for any family in Quebec. The tuition five dollars a day. It would cost almost a billion dollars in the first year alone, and
no one knew if it would actually reduce poverty and social costs. Investing in early childhood is a no-brainer at this point. But when you start a network like that, knowing not only the initial investment to get it going and really the structural change that you're putting in place, and the annual recurring cost, there are a lot of risks ( raising children).
Any Robillard directs a child development center, known as a CPE, in the Montreal neighborhood of Villeray. Today, sixteen years later, parents pay seven dollars a day. Most every afternoon Alexi Chartrand, a freelance media producer, picks up his son Vladimir. CPE spots are coveted - there still aren't enough to go around. Vladimir was on a waiting list for two years. It's actually like a call from God. I have tons of friends that are on the list and waited. When they called us... at first we didn't believe it, because normally most of my friends called before they have their child so, "Oh, you're pregnant! All right, let's call." Alexi's wife Veronique works part-time in the evenings, and by day pursues her education. The CPE system has turned out to be a good investment for Vladimir, but also for his family.
Veronique's schooling will boost her family's life-long income and well-being. If Vladimir had not gotten a spot at a CPE, none of this would have been possible ( raising children).
Quebec's childcare system is costly, and most of the returns will pay out when children grow up. But one benefit appeared right away. We used to have a lower labor force participation compared to the rest of Canada, but since the new family policy, we have surpassed the rest of Canada. Now, having mothers with young children in the labor force is very beneficial for the government, because people paying income tax are less dependent on government subsidies and hence, for every dollar that is invested in the childcare system the government gets back about a dollar and four cents, so it pays for itself.
Affordable childcare is not the only investment Quebec makes in its families. By law, all mothers can take weeks of paid maternity leave at a percentage of their salary, and most of the leave can be shared with the father. But that's not all... Mothers receive free universal pre- and post-natal care and services. Businesses must provide flex-time and nursing breaks for mothers. You have common situations of parents being able to take up to year off and the participation of fathers, because you can share their times into that, has changed the dynamic in so many ways. That, too, is important and can't be neglected. This time is so important. They're so small, and you're not going to live that again, so I think it's important just to live this with your child ( raising children).