Exposing All Day Kindergarten Dis-Information: Clyde Hertzman of UBC's Human Early Learning Partnership Misleads the Public

Sept 8, 2009 Letter to Vancouver Sun (broken link)

Dear Editor:

Re: Letter from Clyde Hertzman, Sept 8, 2009

Dr Hertzman incorrectly implies that Nobel Prize winning economist, James Heckman, favours universal all-day kindergarten, daycare and preschool. In fact Dr Heckman states, “advocates and supporters of universal preschool often use existing research for purely political purposes…the solid evidence for the effectiveness of early interventions is limited to those conducted on disadvantaged populations,” and “none of this evidence supports universal preschool programs.”

Ironically, Hertzman’s own research supports Heckman’s position. Hertzman writes: “Pro-social behaviour scores were lowest for children in licensed day care and highest for children in unregulated home care and relative care,” and “participating in early childhood care and education programs and services at the age of 2 and 3 had little direct association with children’s home and school outcomes in Kindergarten.”

Moreover, Dr Hertzman neglects to disclose his own vested interest in all-day kindergarten in BC. He and one organization he heads, the Human Early Learning Partnership, are funded by the BC government to design, promote, collect the data for, provide consultation for, and evaluate such programs. Nor does he mention his work at the World Bank, where he promotes public funding for these programs and extensive data collection on young children and their families.

Helen Ward
President
Kids First Parent Association of Canada

Notes

  1. Quotes from Heckman are from the Wall Street Journal (broken link)

January 5, 2007. J. Heckman and D. Masterov. University of Chicago – research paper: “The Productivity Argument for Investing in Young Children” (click link for PDF). See page 35

You can also find the paper at this link from U Chicago: “The Productivity Argument for Investing in Young Children

2. Links to Hertzman’s and the Human Early Learning Partnership’s work for and ties to the BC government and World Bank are found at
May 5, 2009. Helen Ward. Kids First Parent Association of Canada: “Big Brother Goes to Kindergarten” (click link for PDF) and
Big Brother Goes to Kindergarten: BC Government Violating Parental and Privacy Rights in “Sperm To Worm” Kindergarten Data Collection and
Background documents: Who is pushing all-day schooling for little kids?

3. Links to Hertzman/HELP’s findings