What's New


Ten reasons to expand public kindergarten

September 2020 An increasing number of jurisdictions are following the research and committing to a two-year kindergarten experience for four- and five-year-old children in a play-based curriculum. While kindergarten is available to all five-year-olds across Canada, most provinces and territories offer in-school programming for at least some children prior to...

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Why Early Childhood Education should be in the Throne Speech

LinkedIn | September 15, 2020 Craig Alexander, Partner & Chief Economist at Deloitte Canada, shares his thoughts on why early childhood education should be included in the Throne Speech. Excerpt: "The scientific literature is clear – brain development starts at birth and a lot of important development occurs before the...

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Furey’s commitment to $25-a-day child care is wise public policy

The Telegram | September 14, 2020 Excerpt: "Among the many lessons learned during this pandemic is the fragility of the early years sector. Accessible and affordable early learning and care are vital to children, families and economies. Marginalized children and their families were especially impacted by closed schools and child...

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Should National Childcare be in the Throne Speech?

September 10, 2020 | The Pearson Centre Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic and the largest workforce lockdown in a generation, governments are seeing how women have been disproportionately affected. With high rates of job loss, many women and are less able to return to the workplace compared to their...

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Integrated Data Repositories for Child Development in Atlantic Canada

This project sought to explore where the Atlantic provinces are in the development of data repositories to monitor child development. While each province is working toward this goal, they are at various points in the journey and, as such, stand to help inform one another. The project sought to begin...

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Early Years Study 4 Podcast

In Conversation with Stephen Hurley | August 24, 2020 Listen to a range of experts discuss their contributions to the Early Years Study 4's prescription for how Canada must invest in quality programs and create a more sustainable and just world. Access the series outline below. Early Years Study 4...

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Families’ Experiences of a Universal Play-based Early Childhood Program in Nova Scotia: Implications for Policy and Practice

Journal of Research in Childhood Education, August 7, 2020 The new study from Dr. Jessie-Lee McIsaac and the team at Mount Saint Vincent Unviversity study examined families’ experiences of a publicly funded, play-based early learning program for children in the year before school entry. Access the full study HERE

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Atkinson Centre Weekly e-Newsletter

An essential comprehensive update on early childhood education quality, access and funding across Canada. The Atkinson Centre captures and reports weekly on early childhood education trends in public schools & Early Learning & Child Care centres. Subscribe to the e-Newsletter and access past copies HERE

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Exploring the foundation for Collaborative Governance to support early childhood in Nova Scotia

New study from Dr. Jessie-Lee McIsaac, Mount Saint Vincent University: "Providing the best start for our youngest generation is a growing priority internationally. Integrated Service Delivery (ISD) offers an approach to address complex system challenges and improve access to early childhood public services for young children and their families. The...

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No data, no problem, no action

The Hamilton Spectator | June 18, 2020 Excerpt: "In the past decades, advocating for better data on early child development has also been strengthened by the argument that it is more costly not to know than it is to collect such data. I think time has come to say that...

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A strong child-care system is essential to our recovery from the pandemic

The Globe and Mail | June 14, 2020 Excerpt: "Early learning and child care is a powerful equalizer, narrowing achievement gaps that emerge before children even start school. Educational child care is needed more than ever to help families address the trauma of the pandemic, to support parent employment and...

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McDonald’s Workers in Denmark Pity Us

The New York Times | May 8, 2020 Excerpt: "Increasingly, I came to see that emulating a Danish-style system of high wages wasn’t just about lifting the minimum wage but, even more, about investing in children.Many Danes see the nurturing of children as part of their nation’s secret sauce, so...

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Now is the time to invest in preschool education. Here’s why

Fortune | May 6, 2020 Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation’s friend and colleague Dr. Stephen Barnett (National Institute of Early Education Research) makes the social and economic case for investing in ECE now. Barnett concludes “there is no investment with a higher long-term potential payoff - if we get...

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Early Childhood Development in a Time of Pandemic

Free Webinars! Families Canada (FC) and the Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development (CEECD) have launched Early Childhood Development in a Time of Pandemic, a webinar series created in response to the current COVID-19 climate. The webinars will highlight some possible effects of the pandemic on young children’s behaviours...

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Keeping Children Busy During COVID-19

Maritime Noon with Bob Murphy | April 6, 2020Listen to Christine McLean, Assistant Professor at Mount Saint Vincent University, on the Maritime Noon radio show discussing how to keep children busy entertained and stimulated while at home during the COVID-19 shutdown.LISTEN

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Investing in Early Childhood Education

The Agenda with Steve Paikin | March 11, 2020 When it comes to enrolment in early childhood education, Canada lags far behind the OECD average. That's according to the Early Years Study by the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation Inc., and its chair Margaret McCain explains how children and...

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Invest in early childhood education or Canada will fall behind

Toronto Star | March 5, 2020 Excerpt: "Canada is way behind other developed nations in early childhood education and needs a big shift in approach to lift families out of poverty and keep our country competitive in a changing knowledge economy.That’s the message behind a new report, the fourth iteration...

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The Honourable Mrs. Margaret McCain – The Early Years Study 4

In Conversation, voicED Radio | February 2020 Host Stephen Hurley scans the education ecosystem, looking for the people and ideas that are starting to change the way we think about teaching, learning, schools and communities. Access the podcast HERE

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Canada’s low ranking for enrolment in early childhood education sparks concern for Lethbridge educators

Global News | February 25, 2020 Excerpt: "An Early Years Study released this month shows Canada has fallen close to the bottom of the pack for enrolment in early childhood education (ECE) programs. It’s a result Anita Entz, executive director with the Children’s House Child Care Society in Lethbridge, said...

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Early Years Study 4: Thriving Kids, Thriving Society

February 2020 The Early Years Study, authored by the Honourable Margaret McCain and Dr. Fraser Mustard in 1999, recommended early child development and parenting centres linked to the school system and sensitive to local communities. This led to a series of reports which have resulted in meaningful policy change in...

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