Canadian governments invest far more in each senior than in each person under age 45. Health research confirms that investment early in the life course can shape lifelong wellbeing and save money, but escalating spending on medical care and public pensions means less money left over to invest in things that matter for younger people. Squeezing entire generations in their prime child-rearing years is contributing to persistently high rates of early childhood vulnerability across Canada, because parental stress is contagious to kids. We will always need to spend more on medical care and income security in our later years. But we should care equally about promoting the wellbeing of each age group, from the early years onwards.