The former Liberal Government and New Democratic Party have promised starter and happier children if only the State is allowed to raise them as surrogate parents from cradle to drinking age.
With a sweeping assumption, I think it would be valuable to look for tried examples of this philosophy and conduct an evaluation, prior to drawing such a conclusion and defending it so vigorously.
Of course, we have an excellent, broadly-based, case study upon which we can draw educated conclusions.
All levels of public school have been accessible without direct payment or taxes to all school age children now in all parts of Canada for almost fifty years. When I attended public school, our teachers were clearly proxies for parents; they treated us as their personal charges, disciplined us as a loving parent would, stayed late to offer after-school programs and rewarded us with stars on our scribblers.
What do we see now in our state run system? Well, first of all teachers have become mercenaries - unwilling to spend a minute more at school that they are contracted and paid to provide. Thus we have seen the end of after school chemistry clubs, photo-clubs, school newspapers and the like, and all the benefits these activities brought to kids.
Meanwhile, our courts have seen fit to remove the right of locos parentis, teachers are now not permitted to discipline children, not even take their knives away from them if they dare. Rather than open children's minds to different ideas, almost stereotypically children are coached on the values of liberal humanist beliefs, or worse, urged toward anti-Christian and anti-capitalist views.
When the teachers don't get their way, they go on strike and act like pre-juveniles, stamping their feet until they do.
And there are no failures in our state run education system; teachers don't want to be stuck with the same dullards for more than one year, so kids are automatically promoted.
The end results is that our educational achievement is bordering on the pathetic. Our children are not given the opportunities to develop new interests, they do not know the joy of success or the disappointment of failure. They are taught to resent the economic and social systems in which they live.
The proof of the failure of the public school system is evidenced by the choices being made by Canadian parents; depending on the province, as much as 9.1% of school age children now attend private schools in the country. This despite the comparative financial burden of a minimum of $15000 cost per student against zero. We have a two tier education system, where the rich kids get smarter.
We can expect the same sort of outcomes for under-sixers in an expanded state run day care program, as we now get from a state-run educational system. And the outcomes ain't very pretty at all.