Maybe. Finland serves as an example of a country in which benefits include a home-care allowance and spaces in child-care centres. Parents of young children can choose between these two options.1 This has not been the case with the “universal” care model in Quebec that the federal government is now seeking to emulate. Three-quarters of Quebec families received fewer financial benefits just one year after the 1997 implementation of the daycare system.2 In 2002, only about 23 percent of families were using the spaces in the new “universal” system.3 What this means is that most families lost benefits because the government favoured a system they were not using.
A study by researchers Robert Baril, Pierre Lefebvre, and Philip Merrigan during the early years of the program concluded the following: