Moving child care forward policy brief cover
Each brief responds to three questions: What? So what? Now what? Policy briefs may be accompanied by one or more short commentaries that augment the content or ideas or present related points of view.


The state of ECEC in Canada 2012

Report by Carolyn Ferns & Martha Friendly, June 2014

The first document in the series is a policy report that provides a snapshot of the state of Canadian ECEC in 2012, the year for which the most recent reliable data are available. Using data consistently collected by the Childcare Resource and Research Unit since 1992 as a base and integrating other pertinent data, this document outlines key trends, patterns and policy shifts in Canadian ECEC’s organization and governance: the demographic context, child care spaces, public funding, parent fees, integration of care and early education, ownership or auspice, Aboriginal child care, human resources and unionization.


Canada's childcare workforce

Brief by Shani Halfon, October 2014

This brief summarizes what is known about the childcare workforce in Canada, the implications of this for regulated childcare, and identifies  some considerations and strategies to address the ongoing issues and improve the overall state of ECEC. A summary of the relevant research and data leads to the conclusion that a coordinated and comprehensive strategy is needed to address the multiple and interconnected variables that impact the working conditions of those in the childcare workforce.


Early childhood education and care for Aboriginal children in Canada

Brief by Jane Preston, November 2014

This brief is drawn from the article “Aboriginal early childhood education in Canada: Issues of context” (Preston, Cottrell, Pelletier, Pearce, 2012). The brief explicates contextual factors that are important to quality Aboriginal early childhood education: privileging Aboriginal pedagogy; promoting Indigenous languages and culture; adequate staffing by qualified Aboriginal educators; empowerment of Aboriginal parents and communities; and in the case of kindergarten services, a full-day timetable. The author argues that strong collaborative efforts are needed by multi-level leaders to ensure that quality Aboriginal early childhood education is actualized throughout Canada.


Improving the Reach of Early Childhood Education for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children

Paper by Jessica Ball, December 2014

This paper highlights deficits in key determinants of Aboriginal children’s wellness and education outcomes. It focuses on the potential for early childhood programming, delivered in concert with other programmatic supports, to form a significant part of a comprehensive strategy involving all levels of government, in partnerships with Aboriginal groups, to ensure equity and dignity for Aboriginal young children and to improve outcomes for Aboriginal Peoples over the long term. Outstanding needs for population data and for research on program outcomes are also highlighted as part of the solution because they can inform investments and program improvements to ensure accountability and critical gains in opportunities for success and quality of life for Aboriginal children.



Drawing on the most recent Canadian ECEC research, information and data, briefs provide a timely and succinct overview about an important topic in ECEC today.


Each brief tackles the question: why is this topic important today? What does this issue mean for families, children, the ECEC workforce, the economy and society? What is the public interest in these topics?


Based on the evidence, what policy questions are raised and what path should be pursued? Each brief points to actions that can be taken to address challenges and improve the state of Canadian ECEC.