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Blue Blogging Soapbox
...rambling rants, thoughts and musings on mostly political topics - from your late night blogger.

Friday, April 07, 2006

More Childcare "research" debunked 
(en francais)

Nice to know there are still some journalists out there with skeptical minds and willing hands. Winnipeg Sun columnist Tom Brodbeck decided not to accept at face value what was being presented to him and dug further. Good for him.

Make sure you bookmark this article. Print it out, email it to your family and friends.
Child-care lobby's numbers are a joke
By TOM BRODBECK

There are more kids on waiting lists for licensed child care than there are child-care spots in Winnipeg, according to a recent study by a University of Manitoba professor.

It‚’s a great sound bite for the government child-care lobby that wants billions of dollars more poured into the not-for-profit, licensed child-care industry at the expense of all other child-care options.

And it‚’s one that was repeated again this week.

Unfortunately, the professor’s claims are completely bogus.
Mr. Brodbeck's diligence inspired me. Time to fire up Google and do a little bit more research.
The University of Manitoba Professor he discusses in the article is Susan Prentice.

Imagine my surprise when Google turned up this.

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives: Research and Publications by Author: Susan Prentice

Delving a little further and we start seeing some other familiar names and organiztions.
A Decade of Decline(pdf)
Regulated Child Care in Manitoba, 1989 - 1999

About the Author
Dr. Susan Prentice is a professor of Sociology at the University of Manitoba.

Background
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Manitoba approached me in late 1999 with an invitation to write a report assessing the current state of Manitoba‚’s regulated child care system. Since there has been no comprehensive public overview of childcare in Manitoba since 1989, I welcomed the opportunity. I study and write about historical and contemporary childcare policy. I also participate in public education and childcare advocacy. From 1997 - 1999 I was the Manitoba representative to the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada, and since 1994 I have been involved in the Child Care Coalition of Manitoba. Through these positions, as well as through my scholarship, my policy support for universally accessible, publicly-funded, high-quality, not-for-profit childcare has been a matter of public record.

This research report is unquestionably influenced by my values, but its substance
is evidence about childcare in Manitoba over the past decade. These facts are observable and empirically verifiable, describing real phenomena. The data discussed in this report are matters for public concern and political action.

Acknowledgments
Grateful thanks for various forms of assistance above and beyond the call to Pat Wege, Doug Martindale, Martha Friendly, Michelle Turiano, Gary Tomlinson, Glen Murray, Margaret Ferniuk, Kathy Reid, Gillian Doherty, the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada, and two anonymous reviewers. I especially appreciate Marty Donkervoort‚’s generous fact- and number-checking and Claudia Scott‚’s outstanding childcare
Take a look at the names and organizations above and then check them against these two posts. A not so surprising amount of similarities occur between the two.

Turning off the taps

Funding Activism

Further examples of taxpayer funded lobby groups using your tax dollars to lobby the government and influence public opinion.

One other thing to note as you read other articles in the future. Whenever you see the C.D. Howe Institute or the Fraser Institute mentioned you'll generally notice a qualifier - "right-wing". On the other hand, keep an eye out for every mention of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Every notice the qualifier - "left-wing" or government funded? Most often not.

Follow columnist Brodbeck's example and refuse to accept everything at face value. You'll be better off for it.

Paul Synnott at 5:10 AM    | en francais | Go to Top|


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