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Up front:

Providing child care for about $10 a day (free to families earning less than $40,000 a year) would require an additional $11-billion a year, according to an analysis by the Human Early Learning Partnership at the University of British Columbia. Expanding benefits so that more parents can afford to stay home until their children are 18 months old would double the figure.

Per capita:

An extra $1,000 for every Canadian under 45, an age group that currently receives about $12,000 a year from all levels of government – versus $45,000 for everyone over 65.

Return on investment:

In the first year alone, increased income tax revenues and reduced social expenditures generated by the program would lower the net cost to about $16-billion – a calculation that excludes longer-term social and educational benefits.

Research: Lynell Anderson and Paul Kershaw of the Human Early Learning Partnership at UBC's School of Population and Public Health