Can the government build a better generation ? ( part 5 )

Only a percentage of Quebec's children have access to subsidized childcare spaces, and the demand keeps growing. While it's too early to measure how these kids will fare as adults, the short-term social benefits are promising. Having more mothers, participating in the labor force, of course the income goes up. So that's why Quebec has the lowest rate of children growing up in poverty. There's still

lots of people waiting so we still have to develop spaces, and we have to work on quality. Family policy in Quebec has wide support. No politician would dare try to dismantle it. More and more, the U.S. has become an outlier in its child and family policies. Every other rich nation guarantees paid maternal leave, and many offer paid leave for fathers as well. Most provide affordable childcare or free preschool for all children. Like Perry, teachers usually have a degree in education. And now China is applying the lessons of Perry Preschool, Abecedarian and Chicago - investing billions in early education
( raising children).

In years traveling in East Asia and elsewhere in the world, top people managing large amounts of resources asked me again and again, "Rob, why are Americans not investing in their own children?" And I tried my best to explain, but their answer back to me was, "Rob, this makes no sense - this is nuts!"

A month ago I was in Beijing, and what really encouraged me was that as part of their long-run planning policy to reduce poverty in China, they were starting to develop early childhood programs. It sees early childhood and sees their whole policy towards early years as being fundamental for its success in the future. If research from our own country's experiments is inspiring governments around the world, why haven't we applied these lessons ourselves? It's not for lack of trying
( raising children).

Years ago, Congress passed a bill offering comprehensive, high-quality childcare and other services for all American children - birth to age five. It was vetoed by President Nixon. In the decades since, most childcare in America has remained a patchwork, too often tough to find, hard to afford, and mediocre in quality. Only one in ten childcare centers across the country is accredited. California inspects cemeteries more often than child-care facilities. And the price families pay can be staggering. Spots at Head Start and other subsidized programs are limited. Families are expected to do it alone. Yet other sectors of our society receive billions in state support.

When we considered a new location for our headquarters, Virginia presented a great business case for assuring a profitable future... Economic development, the way it is conventionally practiced in this country, is seriously flawed. I'm talking billions of dollars, and the return is virtually zero. Across the nation, cities and states compete for each other's jobs - enticing companies with tax breaks, land and other subsidies. Come to Texas! We're wide open for business! When we allow cities and states to try to lure each other's companies with subsidies, from a national perspective, not one new job is created. This cost taxpayers more than billions of dollars - enough to fund child development centers for years. Instead, most states have cut their investments in child development programs
( raising children).
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