Ontario government adviser, Charles Pascal, and BC Government agency, Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP), claim Dr James Heckman, Noble Prize Winner for Economics, supports their goal of universal daycare and all-day and earlier kindergarten. This is actually the opposite of what Heckman argues for.
HELP gave this carefully selected Heckman quote to the federal Finance Committee to bolster its demand for more daycare/preschool money and its claim that $3.1 TRILLION could be saved:
“Investing in young children gives you double benefits—stimulus from the extra spending now, and the increase in human capital in years to come. So, yes, there’s an extremely good case for governments to include it in stimulus packages.” – James Heckman, Nobel Laureate (broken link)
However, in the interview this quote is extracted from, Heckman is talking about “low-skilled immigrant families and others outside the mainstream” in the US. He clearly argues against universal early childhood programs.
He says to help these marginalized under-privileged families, we need to empower the parents with INFORMED CHOICE, and VOUCHERS for PRIVATE programs run by religious, cultural and community groups, and we need RESPECT for PARENTS, not state-run bureaucracies that do not respect their values.
He criticizes childcare (daycare, preschool) advocates for offending parents and for their narrow “parochial” focus and for being afraid of variety and competition.
June 2009. James Heckman. Bernard van Leer Foundation – transcipt pgs 24-29: “An interview with James Heckman” (click link for PDF)
Extracted from “Family stress: Safeguarding young children’s care environment” (broken link)