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ON: Child Care: It's Everyone's Issue
Source: We Are Oshawa, August 11, 2014

Excerpt: "Almost 70 percent of mothers with children under five are working, yet Canada lacks a national child care system. For many families, child care is the second highest expense after housing. In Ontario, families pay between $40 and $60 a day for child care, compared to $7 a day in Quebec; There are currently over 3,800 families on the waitlist for subsidized care in Durham Region; Quebec’s child care program increased the number of women in the workforce by 3.8 percent and boosted the province’s GDP by 1.7 percent."


ON: Proposed Changes to Childcare Laws Spell ‘Crisis’ in Ontario, Says Group
Source: Metro News, August 11, 2014

Excerpt: "A "childcare crisis" is in the works if Ontario’s proposed changes to the Childcare Modernization Act are passed into law, says a group of unlicensed daycare providers. The Ottawa-based Coalition of Independent Childcare Providers of Ontario (CICPO) is calling on the Ministry of Education to rethink Bill 10. The bill would, among other things, ban unlicensed daycare providers from caring for more than two children under the age of two and would cap the total number of children at a daycare at five. It means unlicensed providers will have a hard time filling the remaining three spots if the first two are already filled by children under two, said CICPO cofounder Heidi Higgins."

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ON: Infant Care Spaces are Disappearing Across Muskoka
Source: Bracebridge Examiner, August 6, 2014

Excerpt: "Daycares are changing how they operate and who they serve now that full-day kindergarten has taken their most profitable clientele, those aged 3.8 years and older. The last round of schools to implement full-day kindergarten will open their new classrooms this fall, landing the final blow to some daycares."


ON: Elementary Teachers Introduce Play-Based Learning (Audio)
Source: AM900, August 6, 2014

Excerpt: "With the new school year just around the corner, Hamilton Wentworth elementary teachers are looking to sharpen up their ability to not only teach, but to play. The play-based learning focus is part of the preparation many teachers will be making in advance the complete roll out of full day kindergarten across the province."


AB: Full-Day Kindergarten in Alberta Another Broken PC Promise: Wildrose
Source: Global News, August 12, 2014

Excerpt: "As another school year approaches, there’s still no word on if or when the province will pay for full-day kindergarten. It’s a promise former premier Alison Redford made during the PC leadership race in 2011. However, the project – pegged at $200 million back in 2011 – was deferred in 2012 and 2013 because of budgetary restraints. The Edmonton Catholic and Public School boards both have full-day kindergarten programs at 23 sites, with the boards footing the bill."

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It’s Time for Quality Child Care That’s Affordable for Families
Source: NDP, August 11, 2014

Excerpt: "It’s hard to put a price on the peace of mind that comes with knowing your child is well cared for when you go to work. But for many families, quality child care is becoming increasingly unaffordable – up to $2000 a month for a spot. That’s if you can find a spot at all."


NS: Glace Bay MLA Supports Higher Wages for Daycare Workers
Source: Herald News, August 11, 2014

Excerpt: "As a parent with children in daycare, Geoff MacLellan supports higher wages for Nova Scotia early childhood educators who are paid less than their counterparts in other provinces. But as a member of the legislative assembly and a cabinet minister in the Liberal government, he said the province is under tight fiscal restraints as it aims to balance the budget."


NS: Marches Around Province Call for Higher Wages
Source: Herald News, August 11, 2014

Excerpt: "About 55 early child-care educators wearing red T-shirts with the slogan ECE Matters marched down the centre of George Street on Sunday to raise public awareness about low wages in the industry. Trish Martin, resource co-ordinator for the Nova Scotia Child Care Association, said people also marched in Truro, Kentville, Halifax and Yarmouth to let the public know there is a crisis among early childhood educators."

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The Case Against For-Profit ‘Big Box’ Child Care
Source: Toronto Star, August 7, 2014

Excerpt: "Child care ownership has long been a hotly contested issue in Canada, shaping debates as early as the 1970s. About 25 years ago, with commercial development booming in the old City of Toronto, city planners negotiated with developers for the creation and 25 years rent-free support of several centres in new office towers. In exchange, developers received substantial benefit from the long-term revenues from greater permitted density — gaining a public asset. Guidelines drafted by a city/community committee stipulated that the negotiated centres had to be non-profit."


BC: 6 Reasons Why the BC Liberals Shouldn't Use Grade Schoolers as $40-A-Day Pawns
Source: Press Progress, August 7, 2014

Excerpt: "Education is a public service provided to all of society. This is why it is paid for by everyone, irrespective of the number of children born to them. Even limiting my argument to merely economic goals (the only kind recognized by our government), the nurturing of each child's creativity and potential is an investment in a vibrant and diverse economy. With this $40/day offer, the BC Liberals have made a clear statement about how little they value our most precious and valuable resource!"


BC: Outdoor Kindergartens Cropping Up Everywhere (Audio)
Source: CBC Victoria, July 31, 2014

Description: "There's the Sooke Nature Kindergarten, the Victoria Nature School, the South Park Family School and James Bay Community School. Chris Filler, one of the authors of the Forest and Nature School Guide, explains why these outdoor programs are so popular."

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BC: Affordable Child Care Can Bring Economic and Social Benefits
Source: The Vancouver Sun, July 24, 2014

Excerpt: "We have evidence from Quebec, which initiated low-cost universal-access early childhood care as early as 1997 with fees of $5 a day; they rose to $7 a day in 2004. A study by taxation and economics experts at three universities says this brought nearly 70,000 additional mothers into the province’s workforce, increased overall female employment by 3.8 per cent and boosted Quebec’s gross domestic product by $5 billion a year. Taxes returned to the federal and provincial governments from Quebec’s subsidized low-cost child care investment significantly exceed its cost, the researchers found."


US: Common Antibacterials May Affect Unborn Babies: Study
Source: CBS News, August 11, 2014

Excerpt: "Many pregnant women and their unborn children are being exposed to antibacterial compounds that may be linked to developmental and reproductive issues, a new small study suggests. The antibacterial triclosan appeared in the urine of every woman tested in the study, and triclocarban, another antibacterial chemical, appeared in more than 85 percent of the urine samples, the researchers report. Potentially worse, triclosan also showed up in more than half the samples of umbilical cord blood taken from the mothers, indicating that the chemical is reaching some fetuses."


UK: Childcare Experts Dismayed by Plans to Cut Funding for Childcare that Does Not Promote "Fundamental British Values"
Source: The Guardian, August 8, 2014

Excerpt: "The new regulations, say local authorities will be empowered to cut off state funding – including the 15 hours of childcare funding a week for two- to four-year-olds – to any provider that "does not actively promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs"."

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US: Rich Kid, Poor Kid: For 30 Years, Baltimore Study Tracked Who Gets Ahead
Source: nprEd, August 7, 2014

Excerpt: "Education is historically considered to be the thing that levels the playing field, capable of lifting up the less advantaged and improving their chances for success. "Play by the rules, work hard, apply yourself and do well in school, and that will open doors for you," is how Karl Alexander, a Johns Hopkins University sociologist, puts it."



US: Parents Are the Ones Who Need Limits on Screen Time
Source: The Washington Post, August 6, 2014

Excerpt: "We know the recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics on kids and screen time so well we could recite them in our sleep. Nothing for children under two, and limit it to less than two hours a day for children ages 3 to 18. Not everyone adheres to it, but you can’t get out of the annual checkup at the pediatrician without being reminded that too much time in front of an electronic device isn’t good for young brain development."


US: Pretend Play is Important Work
Source: Too Small to Fail, August 6, 2014

Excerpt: "Children explore their feelings about new situations and interactions with people through pretend play. Researchers have found that imaginary play helps children learn how to control their emotions and impulses by allowing them to practice first how they will speak or act in any given situation. Much like adults might practice a speech in front of a mirror, children use pretend play to prepare how they will behave in real life. And when they engage in pretend play with other children or adults, they learn how other people react in different situations, too."

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US: At Granny's House: More Children Raised by Grandparents than Before
Source: Deseret News, August 5, 2014

Excerpt: "The number of children being raised by their grandparents shot up, doubling from 2000's 2.4 million to 4.9 million in 2010, according to U.S. Census figures. Many times, situations arise in which a child can no longer safely live with a biological parent or legal guardian, Mary Jane Di Paolo, assistant director of Community Child Care Solutions, told USA Today and the New Jersey Courier News. She said that New Jersey's Department of Child and Families tries to place children first with relatives and acquaintances whom the child knows, which may be one reason more children are living with grandparents."


US: How Childhood Neglect Harms the Brain
Source: 90.9 WBUR, June 26, 2014

Excerpt: "Experts have long known that neglect and abuse in early life increase the risk of psychological problems, such as depression and anxiety, but now neuroscientists are explaining why. They’re showing how early maltreatment wreaks havoc on the developing brain."


ON: Some Permanent Classrooms Won't Be Ready in Time for Final Phase of All-Day Kindergarten
Source: Brampton Guardian, July 31, 2014

Excerpt: "Peel’s public school board has building contractors working feverishly this summer to ready classrooms for the final implementation phase of Ontario’s full-day kindergarten program. Despite the best laid plans of Peel District School Board planning and accommodation staff, the sheer scope of the undertaking means permanent classrooms being built for kindergarten students will not be ready for occupancy at some schools when classes resume in September."


ON: Big Ideas Live Chat Recap: How Can We Improve Access to Affordable Child Care in Toronto?
Source: Toronto Star, July 25, 2014

Excerpt: "A lack of access to affordable child care in Toronto is a barrier for working families, who thusly cannot realize their economic potential or gain full employment. Access to affordable child care benefits children, parents, employers and businesses. Big Ideas readers think Toronto should advocate for affordable child care at the provincial level."

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A Number is Never Just a Number: Child-Care Costs vs. University Tuition
Source: Rabble, August 5, 2014

Excerpt: "70,000: Number of newly employed Quebec moms in 2008, thanks to that province's child-care program. Research shows that for every dollar Quebec invests in affordable child care, it brings back $1.05 into the economy."


Parliamentary Daycare May Hold Solution for MP Parents
Source: Toronto Star, August 1, 2014

Excerpt: "A Conservative MP says politicians should examine whether an existing daycare on Parliament Hill could be used to accommodate the childcare needs of young MPs rather than creating a new one. Gord Brown (Leeds-Grenville) says the Children on the Hill daycare could be a good option to help MPs cope with the parliamentary baby boom."


Is It Time For A Canadian “Daddy Month”?
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, July 31, 2014

Excerpt: "A Canadian daddy month would be a great first step for families. But it is only a step. In the long term, parents need safe, affordable places for their children to go while they are at work—because the vast majority of parents with kids under 3 work. Mothers and fathers need to see the gap in their paychecks close, so that the pressures (of paying for all that baby gear) and the fun (of watching your child discover how awesome that bouncy chair really is) can be better shared. Single parents need supports the address their struggles to balance it all."

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BC: B.C. Teachers Union Blasts Offer to Cover Daycare Fees
Source: The Globe and Mail, July 31, 2014

Excerpt: "The B.C. government is offering parents $40 a day per child to cover daycare costs if the teachers’ strike stretches into the new school year, a move blasted by the teachers’ union as a “blatant and divisive attempt” to prolong the dispute. While some parents say they appreciate the gesture, they also said they’d rather their children were back in the classroom come September. The labour disruption led to rotating strikes over three weeks in May and June before classes were cut short two weeks early by a full-scale walk-out."


NL: Child Care a Concern for Province
Source: The Labradorian, July 29, 2014

Excerpt: "Ensuring the quality, sufficiency and affordability of regulated child care services for families with young children remains a top priority for government. That’s according to Child, Youth and Family Services Minister Sandy Collins."


BC: Time for $10-A-Day Child Care
Source: The Vancouver Sun, July 29, 2014

Excerpt: "The Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. and the Early Childhood Educators of B.C. agree with the Vancouver Sun editorial board in its position on child care. We’re hearing of widespread support for the editorial, provincially and from across the country. It was a game-changer that thoughtfully explored the rationale for public investment into a quality child care system, a system that meets the 21st century needs of parents for access to quality affordable care for their children, and provides the labour market with the necessary workers to meet the anticipated labour shortages in our province."


In Early Education "Half-Day" is Wholly Harmful
Source: Forbes, August 6, 2014

Excerpt: "In public policy, the words used to frame a debate shape the debate itself. In the world of early education policy, we debate the merits of “half-day” versus “full-day” pre-K and kindergarten. But these terms don’t mean what we think. A half-day program can be as little as two hours per day, and a full-day can be as little as four hours per day.  The terminology is inaccurate and misleading. Advocates of longer days in early education should stop using it, and replace it with something that shifts the debate in their favor."

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US: Child Care Affects All Working Americans
Source: The Indypendent, August 4, 2014

Excerpt: "President Obama’s White House Summit on Working Families is raising awareness that the fundamental inadequacy of child care in the US is a universal problem.  However, the President needs to do more to ensure that the federal government develops and funds universal policies to address U.S. child care needs.  The most recent regulations from the Department of Health and Human Services which are designed to improve the quality of child care in agencies receiving federal dollars will, in the absence of greater resources, do little to address the needs of the many families they are supposed to help who are unable to receive subsidies despite being officially qualified and will do nothing to address the universal care needs that exist in the US."


UK: Childcare and Early Years Education Need to Change
Source: The Scotsman, July 31, 2014

Excerpt: "Childcare and early years education are vitally important policy areas in Scotland. This commitment is manifest in many recent pieces of legislation, not least the SNP government’s flagship Children and Young People Act, which seeks to "make Scotland the best place in which to grow up"."


SA: Improving Early Education in Saudi: Two Women's Stories
Source: Wamda, July 29, 2014

Excerpt: "Early childhood education has also received government support and mainstream attention in recent years, due in part to two Saudi visionaries. They may be a generation apart, but Ilham Al-Dakheel and Samia Kazi have been a powerful force in helping to gain recognition of the importance of early education."

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EU: Eurochild: Early Years Services are a Public Good
Source: Start Strong, July 28, 2014

Excerpt: "Three years ago, the European Commission published an important document - the Communication on Early Childhood Education and Care - that gave a major stimulus to early years policy at EU level. A key development was the establishment of an EU working group (including representatives of the Irish Government) to develop a "European Quality Framework" for early care and education."


US: Play: One of the Most Important Factors in a Child’s Development
Source: University of Michigan, July 25, 2014

Excerpt: "Free play is nature’s means of teaching children that they are not helpless. In play, away from adults, children do have control and can practice asserting it. In free play, children learn to make their own decisions, solve their own problems, create and abide by rules, and get along with others as equals rather than as obedient or rebellious subordinates."


US: Background TV Can Be Bad For Kids
Source: Iowa Now, July 21, 2014

Excerpt: "Parents, turn off the television when your children are with you. And when you do let them watch, make sure the programs stimulate their interest in learning. That's the advice arising from University of Iowa researchers who examined the impact of television and parenting on children’s social and emotional development. The researchers found that background television—when the TV is on in a room where a child is doing something other than watching—can divert a child’s attention from play and learning. It also found that noneducational programs can negatively affect children’s cognitive development."

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Research Reports & Resources

The Gerrard Resource Centre
Source: Ryerson University, August 2014

Description: "The Gerrard Resource Centre (GRC) is an outreach program of the School of Early Childhood Studies at Ryerson University. The GRC has a special focus on the inclusion of children with disabilities and enhancing family supports. The only Canadian university-based family support program centre operated according to The Guiding Principles of Family Support, the GRC provides leadership in the provision of direct service to families and children and resources for parents and caregivers, professionals, researchers and policymakers, and students."

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Is Canada in the Running?
Source: Active Healthy Kids Canada, May 20, 2014

Excerpt: "For the Early Years, 0-4 years, for healthy growth and development: Infants (aged less than 1 year) should be physically active several times daily – particularly through interactive floor-based play; Toddlers (aged 1-2 years) and preschoolers (aged 3-4 years) should accumulate at least 180 minutes of physical activity at any intensity spread throughout the day, including: A variety of activities in different environments; Activities that develop movement skills; Progression toward at least 60 minutes of energetic play by 5 years of age. More daily physical activity provides greater benefits."


Immigrant Parents and Early Childhood Programs: Addressing Barriers of Literacy, Culture, and Systems Knowledge
Source: Migration Policy Institute, June 2014

Excerpt: "Immigrant parents face significant barriers as they try to engage with their children's early educational experiences, including greatly restricted access for many due to limited English proficiency and functional literacy. Parental engagement is critical for young children's early cognitive and socioemotional development, and for their participation in programs that are designed to support early learning. Reducing the barriers to parent engagement in early childhood education and care (ECEC) programs would encourage school success, and help many young children of immigrants close the gaps in kindergarten readiness with their native peers."

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Parliamentary Inquiry into Childcare for Disabled Children
Source: Contact a Family, July 2014

Excerpt: "Parent carers are often charged higher than average fees: 86% of parent carers who responded to the Inquiry’s survey reported paying £5 or more per hour, with 38% paying £11-20 and 5% paying more than £20. This compares to the national averages of around £3.50 – 4.50 per hour. The Inquiry heard that many parent carers had been forced to give up work because they could not afford suitable childcare."


A National Childcare Program Can Address Key Themes in the 2014 Pre-Budget Consultation
Source: Childcare Resource and Research Unit, August 6, 2014

Excerpt: "Changing childcare could be an opportunity for Canada. Today it is well recognized that ECEC has the potential to address multiple social and political objectives. Women’s equality and employment, poverty reduction, family-work balance, social integration and equal opportunity, improved child development and well-being, and economic prosperity are regularly cited as practical reasons to support high quality ECEC. With specific reference to the 2014 federal pre-budget priorities: transforming the childcare situation could help address four of the Finance Committee’s six priority themes set out for these pre-budget consultations."


Children's Services Division: Facts and Figures
Source: City of Toronto, Children’s Services, July 2014

Description: "Access key information about; Toronto's child care system; Toronto's subsidy system; and Toronto's children."

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Achieving Excellence: A Renewed Vision for Education in Ontario
Source: Government of Ontario, Ministry of Education, April 2014

Excerpt: "Ontario is committed to the success and well-being of every student and child. Learners in the province's education system will develop the knowledge, skills and characteristics that will lead them to become personally successful, economically productive and actively engaged citizens. Ontario will cultivate and continuously develop a high-quality teaching profession and strong leadership at all levels of the system. Our education system will be characterized by high expectations and success for all. It will be responsive, high quality, accessible and integrated from early learning and child care to adult education. Together, we will build on past achievements and move forward with ambitious goals."


Breastfeeding
Source: Unicef, August 4, 2014

Excerpt: "Early and exclusive breastfeeding helps children survive, but it also supports healthy brain development, improves cognitive performance and is associated with better educational achievement at age 5. Breastfeeding is the foundation of good nutrition and protects children against disease.  In this way, breastfeeding allows all children to thrive and develop to their fully potential.  Yet, less than half of the world’s newborns benefit from early breastfeeding and even fewer are exclusively breastfed for the first six months."

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The Practicalities of Childcare: An Overlooked Part of the Puzzle?
Source: Citizens Advice, July 2014

Excerpt: "Too many parents, especially women, want to work but are locked out of the workplace and are unable to contribute to their household finances or to our economy. 41 per cent of Citizens Advice clients with children say that the cost of childcare is preventing them or their partner from taking up employment or increasing their hours of work.2 Parents on low incomes have even less choice in the childcare market and less control over their hours because they are more likely to have unsecure contracts, to work evenings or weekends, and to find that their shifts change from one week to the next. As a result too many children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, are missing out on the higher quality early education that they need to get on in life. And meanwhile, childcare providers are struggling to cover their overheads and to keep their businesses afloat."


Less-Structured Time in Children's Daily Lives Predicts Self-Directed Executive Functioning
Source: Frontiers, June 17, 2014

Excerpt: "Executive functions (EFs) in childhood predict important life outcomes. Thus, there is great interest in attempts to improve EFs early in life. Many interventions are led by trained adults, including structured training activities in the lab, and less-structured activities implemented in schools. Such programs have yielded gains in children's externally-driven executive functioning, where they are instructed on what goal-directed actions to carry out and when. However, it is less clear how children's experiences relate to their development of self-directed executive functioning, where they must determine on their own what goal-directed actions to carry out and when. We hypothesized that time spent in less-structured activities would give children opportunities to practice self-directed executive functioning, and lead to benefits."

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