On April 19, 2021, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland presented the first federal budget in two years. Among the many new and updated policies, one stood out especially – the promise of affordable universal childcare for all Canadians.

Universal child care had been promised in the past and never come to fruition, not for lack of political will or public support, but rather because it is such a difficult policy to enact. One place in Canada, however, already has universal, affordable child care: Quebec.

The federal government plans on taking this model of child care and replicating it in every province and territory. But this system is not perfect, and the government needs to be careful not to make the same mistakes that Quebec has made while creating this policy.

This week we are joined by Sophie Mathieu and Gordon Cleveland to speak about the Quebec model of child care, and how this policy will be enacted across the country.

Sophie Mathieu is a postdoctoral researcher at Université TÉLUQ, with a focus on family policy in Quebec. She holds a PhD in sociology.

Gordon Cleveland is emeritus associate professor of economics at the University of Toronto Scarborough, and a member of the Expert Panel on Early Learning and Child Care Data and Research. He is also president of Cleveland Consulting: Early Childhood Education and Care Inc.

Download for free. Tweet your questions and comments to @IRPP.

Do you have something to say about the article you just read? Be part of the Policy Options discussion, and send in your own submission, or a letter to the editor.