Most Canadians would prefer to see more stay-at-home parents

National Post (Canada) 13 May 2013
Canadians want to see more stay-at-home parents, according to a new poll commissioned by the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada as it calls for governments to overhaul their approach to early childhood care.

The public opinion poll found 76% of respondents believe it is best that children under six be home with a parent. It also found almost two-thirds of respondents would rather see funding go directly to parents, rather than government-run daycare and all-day kindergarten.

“We see that Canadians’ desires differ from the direction being taken by provincial governments,” writes Andrea Mrozek in the study, released Wednesday to the National Post.

Ms. Mrozek, the institute’s executive director, has been a vocal critic of recent decisions to expand government daycare programs for young children — particularly the Ontario government’s implementation of all-day kindergarten and B.C. plans for $10-a-day daycare.

….The study also probed preferences on government funding structures, which saw two thirds of respondents call for direct funding to parents through cash payments or tax deductions. About one third of respondents wanted to see funding go toward the public sector, including the expansion of public schools and subsidies to childcare centres.

Ms. Mrozek calls current funding models “discriminatory,” due to their emphasis on public childcare programs rather than models that involve some form of stay-at-home parent.