Studies: Making the Case for Child Care


Research has shaped many views regarding early childhood education and care in Canada. Without research, people are left with unanswered questions and sometimes cannot acknowledge the big picture. When examining the micro and macro aspect of early childhood educators, investing in early learning and gender equality, the outcome sometimes results in distinguishing amendments in policies and systems that better serve educators, children, families and society as a whole. 

  1. Child Care Staff
  2. Economics of Early Childhood
  3. Quality
  4. Woman's Equality
  5. History

Early Childhood Education and Care in Canada 2016, 11th Edition

Martha Friendly, Elise Larsen, Laura Feltham, Bethany Grady, Barry Forer, Michelle Jones (April, 2018)                                                     

The Childcare Resource and Research Unit's (CRRU) new report Early childhood education and care in Canada 2016 is its 11th compilation of Canada-wide data on child care and related early childhood and family programs. It considers child care space provision, budget allocations, and service delivery information in the 2014-2016 period, comparing these to previous years. The report provides detailed provincial/territorial descriptive information on kindergarten and child care programs (such as teacher/educator training, ratios, group/class size, pedagogy and governance) as well as pertinent demographic data such as the number of children and mothers' employment rates.

        It also Includes:                                                                                                                                               

  • ECEC services are organized                                                                           
  • The federal role                                                                                               
  • Indigenous ECEC services                                                                                        
  • Information on maternity and parental leave and new developments through 2017

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Child Care Staff


Professional Development in Early Childhood Programs: Process Issues and Research Needs

Susan M. Shendan, Carolyn Pape, Christine A, Marvin and Lisa L. Knoche (2009)


Early childhood educators engage in professional development to find a deeper understanding about child development and early learning. Research suggests that professional development is critical to the quality of experiences offered to children. However, this research article speaks upon the ECE field breaking down the process of professional development because it can sometimes create assumptions for educators and should therefore be examined. 

For the full article visit:


 Piecemeal solutions get piecemeal results: Addressing wages in regulated child care in Ontario

Canadian Research, Ontario                                                                               .canadianwages.jpg

Shani Halfon & Shellie Bird, (March, 2015)

A number of attempts were aimed at increasing wages in the field of early childhood education when working in regulated centres. This article outlines government initiatives to improve wages in Ontario. Some funding has contributed to the improvement in compensation for ECEC in the workforce. But as a result, getting to the root of the problem, it has been determined that staff wages cannot be tied to parents’ abilities to pay fees or funding streams in the form of subsidies. Therefore, funding for child care programs should provide funds both for adequate wages and affordable parent fees.


For the full article visit:

Early childhood care: working conditions, training and quality of services - A systematic review

Peeters, Jan; Cameron, Claire; Lazzari, Arianna; Peleman, Brecht; Budginaite, Irma; Hauari, Hanan & Siarova, Hanna, (Feb, 2015)


What type of training works more effectively in shaping the quality of early learning and care services? This report outlines the improvement of working conditions and the impacts of continuous professional development in the field of early childhood education. The recent EU and OECD policy documents highlight that improving working conditions and enhancing professional development of the ECEC workforce are critical in meeting the challenge of providing equitable access to services while also improving the quality of provision.

For the full article visit:



Canada’s Child Care workforce

Canadian Research, Ontario

Shani Halfon, (Oct, 2014)

This paper summarizes what we know about Canada’s current workforce considering stability and the effects upon regulated child care. The paper reviews the researched literature and reveals that the wages and working conditions for child care staff are a “key problem”. Necessary changes to the workforce model for Canada include further training and better working conditions including pay to promote high quality care provided by child care providers.

“High quality services staffed by high quality people also help to retain staff” (Halfon, 2014., p. 11).

For the full article visit:


You Bet We Still Care 

Canadian Research

Child Care Human Resources Sector Council



The Child Care Human Resource Sector Council have released: You Bet We Still Care! Highlights Report, a survey of employers and employees in Canada’s licensed full-day child care centres in 2012. Over 4,600 surveys were completed to give a detailed overview of the current state of child care in Canada, addressing wages, parent fees, retention and quality of programming.

What factors influence wages and benefits of early learning and child care settings?

The Child Care Human Resource Sector Council (2013)

For the full pdf visit:

Many research has demonstrated that the compensation early childhood educators receive correlates with the quality that is delivered. In this article, The Child Care Human Resource Sector Council raises issues surrounding the wage of early childhood educators and how the ECEC system is designed. Many influential factors of this matter are considered, including the policy decisions on the federal, provincial and territorial government levels. 

For the full article visit:


 Literature Review of Socioeconomic Effects and Net Benefits: Understanding and Addressing Workforce Shortages in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) Project


Child Care Human Resources Sector Council

The Centre for Spatial Economics


This report identifies the factors that affect recruitment and retention in the Early Childhood Education and Care sector and possible strategies to avoid staff shortages in the ECE field. Some of the key findings of the report show that investment in early childhood education not only benefits children and families, but also creates the maximum possible jobs while passing the most revenue to government.




Early Childhood Education has Widespread and Long Lasting Benefits

Canadian Research

Craig Alexander & Dina Ignjatovic

Td Bank, 2012


Early Childhood Education has widespread and long lasting benefits

A report by TD economics reviewing the benefits and cost associated with investing in high quality early childhood education. This literature emphasizes the compelling evidence of how early childhood benefits children, families and the economy.



For slides from a power point presentation on the report click here.

Click here for another great article from the Toronto Star.



The Case for Investing in Early Childhood

American Article

Mary Young, (2014)

This piece of literature frames the connection between the early years of life shaping future adult capabilities. This report also incorporates a visual on how the skill formation occurs when investing in education early on in life, especially for children who are high risk and coming from low income families.

See full article at:    



Early Childhood Education: Renewing focus and taking action in the commonwealth

Canadian Research

Kimberly Ochs, (2013)loonie.jpg


It is reported that every dollar invested in early childhood yields up to a US$8 return (UNICEF, 2010). This report speaks to the concrete evidence we have regarding early childhood development, but yet childcare is not treated as high level as primary education. The commonwealth education partnership has also reviewed goals in this paper for 2015 when rethinking early childhood services.

See full article at: s


A New Economy Needs Child Care

Canadian Research, Nova Scotia

Tammy Findlay with Stella Lord, (April, 2015)


This report entails the call for action based on the Nova Scotia Commission on Building Our New Economy also known as the Ivany Report. Based on the report, Nova Scotia faces a lack of economic growth and loss of young people working. Yet, the early childhood community that strives to prove that there is economic benefit in investing in the early years seems to be portrayed through a bias in what is and is not relevant to the economy. The report concludes by stating the available research proving investment in early learning and care and affordable child care would increase the probability of more families getting back to work.

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Child care at the Broadbent Institute’s Progress Summit 2015 “Building a better Canada”

Canadian Research, Ontario 

Martha Friendly, Sharon Gregson, (March 2015)

In order to build a better Canada, a national child care program is necessary. A universal, affordable child care program means to have a publicly managed and publicly funded learning service which is accessible for all children in Canada. Children’s well-being depends on good quality, because poor quality childcare can be harmful, and potentially dangerous.

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What ensures quality in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC)

Canadian Research

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, (2013)

What ensures quality in early childhood settings? What aspects matter the most? The OECD proposed a quality in ECEC paper outlining that minimum standards matter. This paper can be used as a resourceful tool to examine different components of  quality child care programs, along with giving educators a collective idea of what’s missing in our ECEC program in Canada.

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 Everyone is welcome: Inclusive Early childhood education and care

Canadian Research, Ontario

Kathryn Underwood, (2013)

High quality early childhood programs are consistent with high quality inclusion. Inclusive environments that respect children’s natural development and meet the needs of children and families provide the best quality for children to succeed. This article speaks upon the importance of having a collective environment with early childhood educators, agencies, resource teachers, specialists and community based professionals to make sure that children reach their full potential.

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Careless About Child Care

Canadian Research, Ontario

Andre Marin (October, 2014)

The report Careless about Child Care investigates the role of the Ministry of Education in responding to complaints and concerns regarding unlicensed child care. The report analyses the four cases of children who have passed away in the care of an unlicensed operator. The report concludes with changes that must be made to reflect high quality care in Ontario.


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 Job hours and schedules: Implications for state Child Care and Development Fund policies

Canadian Research

Johnson-Staub, Christine; Matthews, Hannah & Adams, Gina, (April, 2015)

A large number of child care policies impact on what low income families receive. As part of the Work Support Strategies project, CLASP and Urban Institute have identified a set of child care subsidy policies. Because the policies are particularly burdensome for both parents with low-income, thus, CCDBG administering agencies, are attempting for simplification.In addition, a new policy brief explores state policy choices in establishing minimum hour work requirements for subsidy eligibility. As a result, with the simplification of eligibility and verification requirements, states can reduce client and administrative burden, support parental employment, improve continuity of care for children, and increase access to quality child care.

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 Quality In Early Childhood Education and Care

International Research

European Parliament, (2013)


This case study report is composed of details on the early childhood education and care services in Germany, Finland, Netherlands, Romania, Spain and Ireland.National policies, curriculum, quality, qualifications of staff and system deliverance is touched upon for each country listed. This study is very relevant when using it as a comparison tool for ECEC in Canada.

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Early Child Development: A Global Scenario

Educational International ECE Force, (2010)


This report was conducted by the early childhood education task force to enforce the strong belief that Early Childhood should be accessible to all children. This study speaks upon the fact that early childhood is underdeveloped and raises concerns about the private unregulated child care sector across many countries.

To see full article visit: 

 Investing in Quality: Policies, Practitioners, Programs and Parents  investing_in_quality.JPG

Expert Panel on Quality and Human Resources


Through extensive national and international research the Expert Panel on Quality and Human Resources has created a plan of strategies and recommendations to improve early learning and care programs in Ontario. The plan focuses on four key areas that affect and formulate early learning and care services; policies (funding and infrastructure), practitioners, programs, and parents.


Woman’s Equality

The G20 and Gender Equality

womensequality.pngCanadian Research

OXFAM, (2014)

Discrimination against women is the consequence that drives poverty and inequality in women. Across G20 countries, women are paid less than men, work part time positions and do most of the unpaid labour. This paper speaks to the commitment G20 has made in tackling the barriers faced by Canadian women. This piece of literature also brings into account how low fee child care, like for instance, in Quebec has lead over 70,000 women into the workforce. Most importantly, it speaks upon Canada’s Universal Child Care Benefit and how it has become an incentive for lower income mothers to stay at home.


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Gender Equality

Canadian Research

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, (2014)50_50.jpg

According to the Canadian centre for policy alternatives, at the current rate Canada is going, the gender gap will most likely be closed in the year 2240. Current issues around women's equality that should be considered and an economic plan in Canada should address barriers. This piece of literature speaks upon policies that are in place which in fact reduce women in the labour force and cost the federal government a lot of money.

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Gender Equality in Parliaments and Political Corruption

American Research

Global organization against parliamentarians against corruption (GOPAC) (2014)


Globally, women account for less than 10% of parliamentarians (July, 2013). This article speaks upon recent research, suggesting that more women are needed to be elected in the political office. Positive attributes to Increasing more women in parliament will address women’s inequality, reduce corruption and create an equality committee to ensure respect among women and men.

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From Women to Children, reframing Child Care in Canada

Canadian History

Queen’s Policy Review, Julie Amoroso (2010)

This paper reviews the history of women’s rights and ECEC in Canada, beginning in the 1960s. Throughout the years, it is seen the the Conservative government has ignored publicly funded child care since 1984 and favored for profit child care and tax deductions. Sadly, only Quebec’s child care is considered a citizenship right for women in Canada.  This policy review is a great resource to gain insight on where a national child care system stood throughout the last 50 years.

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Canada’s history of the never - was national child care program

Canadian History

Child care Resource and Research Unit

This article looks back on how close Canada was at achieving an accessible, affordable, high-quality child care system for all. Under the liberal government, Paul Martin and social development minister Ken Dryden had pledged to bring in a national program worth $5 billion over five years.

To see full article visit:’s-history-never-was-national-child-care-program



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