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News

ON: Mercury Levels Enough to Impact Children’s Brain Development
Source: Toronto Star, July 18, 2016

Excerpt: "For kids, mercury exposure in the womb is associated with delayed learning, shortened attention span, memory deficits, delayed language acquisition, poorer motor control or co-ordination."

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CA: Beyond Baby Steps: Planning for a National Child Care System
Source: Policy Options, July 19, 2016

Excerpt: "The OECD has noted that in all provinces/territories except for Quebec, child care funding relies too heavily on parental fees and outdated “inefficient” fee subsidies. It also states that the funding is not adequate to ensure that affordable quality services are available when and where they’re needed. The almost entirely female workforce of early childhood educators is exploited — their training, pay, and working conditions are insufficient everywhere in Canada. This compromises the quality for the children."

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CA: Canada Child Benefit: Everything You Need to Know
Source: Global News, July 19, 2016

Excerpt: "Families will receive one tax-free benefit payment per month. Low-income households will receive more money than high-income families, which could mean higher earners could see their monthly benefit shrink, or possibly disappear altogether."

Related articles:

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CA: Government of Canada Restores Advocacy to Scope of Status of Women Canada Projects
Source: Government of Canada, July 18, 2016

Excerpt: "The Women’s Program at Status of Women Canada supports eligible organizations to carry out projects at the local, regional and national levels. To qualify, these projects must help advance equality, and support the full participation of women in the economic, social and democratic life of Canada."

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CA: Doctors’ Notes: Thinking Holistically About Kids’ Health
Source: Toronto Star, July 18, 2016

Excerpt: "The more we study the conditions that straddle mental and physical health, the more we realize just how interconnected these areas are. Kids and teens, in particular, are best helped when the biological causes — as well as psychological and social factors that contribute to the symptoms — are considered."

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CA: Canada Child Benefit Seen as Fighting Poverty — As Long as Provinces Co-Operate

Source: CBC News, July 14, 2016

Excerpt: ""We know from international research that child benefits are absolutely an essential element in a child poverty reduction strategy," said Sid Frankel, a member of the group's national steering committee and an associate professor in the University of Manitoba's faculty of social work. "It would be hard for the federal government to meet its poverty reduction commitment if the provinces did claw back, because they would be neutralizing at least part of the effect of the benefit.""

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AB: To Improve a Child’s Health, Follow Alberta’s Lead and Give Parents a Raise
Source: The Globe and Mail, July 15, 2016

Excerpt: "Income, education, employment, early-childhood development, housing, food security – these “social determinants of health” are far more influential than health care on the quality and length of our lives. Chief among these is income, often referred to as the determinant of the determinants, given its direct influence on health and on factors such as where people can afford to live and how far they can go in school."

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US: Why Is Childcare Getting Even More Expensive?
Source: Bloomberg, July 18, 2016

Excerpt: "Childcare workers are some of the lowest-paid workers, and their salaries are shrinking. Right now they make an average of $10 an hour, according to the BLS. Over the last five years, the median wages of childcare workers have decreased in all but 13 states, according research published last week by the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California. This decrease in pay matches labor trends in daycare as the supply of willing workers has increased. Employment in childcare is at an eight-year high. But instead of lower employee pay leading to lower prices for parents, the opposite has happened."

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US: Building a Brain
Source: U.S. News & World Report, July 14, 2016

Excerpt: "We now know that human brains aren't born – they're built from the ground up, through the combined influences of children's genes and early experiences. During the first 1,000 days of a child's life, over 700 neural connections are formed every second, literally shaping the architecture of a young child's brain. Those rapidly growing connections are largely driven by a child's interactions with parents and other caretakers in the very first months of life. And new research shows that children are affected by early experiences at much younger ages that previously understood."

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US: Playgrounds and the Importance of Play (Audio)
Source: Iowa Public Radio, July 12, 2016

Excerpt: ""Kids are 71 percent less involved in outdoor activities now than they were ten years ago," says Dr. Stuart Brown, founding director of the National Institute for Play. "To me it's a public health issue. The benefits of play need to be understood both for personal health, brain development, and social competency. We don't somehow see play as being connected to that and yet it is.""

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UK: Childcare Costs Denying Working Families a Good Living Standard
Source: The Guardian, July 20, 2016

Excerpt: "A two-child couple each working full time on the minimum wage of £7.20 an hour would fall £2,600 a year – or 12% – short of the minimum income standard after paying rent and childcare, the study finds. The shortfall is even more dramatic for a lone parent working full time at minimum wage, who after paying rent and childcare would be £2,860 a year or £55 a week short of what they require, a gap of 18%."

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AU: Four Reasons Why Your Childcare Bill Is So High
Source: They Sydney Morning Herald, July 20, 2016

Excerpt: "The average amount spent on childcare each week has more than doubled in little more than a decade, rising much faster than household incomes."

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CA: Child Care Becoming ‘Privilege’ Only Upper-Income Canadians Can Afford: Advocate
Source: Global News, July 12, 2016

Excerpt: "Ridiculous. Expensive. Crazy. Those are just a few of the adjectives some Alberta parents use to describe the cost of child care. Edmonton mother Amanda King decided it made sense to stay home to raise her 16-month-old daughter Penelope instead of returning to work considering the sky-high costs of care. “It’s like $1,200 a month, so I would just rather cut costs elsewhere and stay home with her than send her somewhere else,” King said."

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CA: New Canada Child Benefit Rolls Out with a More Subtle Pitch
Source: CBC News, July 11, 2016

Excerpt: "With the new Canada Child Benefit (CCB) rolling out this month, some Canadian families may also be thinking back to the mini-windfalls they received to boost their summer of 2015. "

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BC: Women and Children Pay a Steep Price for B.C.’S Failing Child-Care System

Source: The Province, July 12, 2016

Excerpt: "When families need child care but cannot find or afford a licensed provider subject to provincial quality standards, they are often have no choice but to put their children in informal, patch-work arrangements with no guarantee that even basic health and safety requirements are met, putting the well-being of children at risk."

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NU: No Child Care Forces Iqaluit Mom to Leave Town
Source: CBC News, July 11, 2016

Excerpt: "According to the Nunavut government, in 2015-2016 there were 905 names on waiting lists across the territory. That doesn't mean that many children need care. Some children may be on multiple wait lists, according to the department of Education, hoping for one of about 1000 licensed spots around the territory."

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US: Child Care Expansion Takes a Toll on Poorly Paid Workers
Source: The New York Times, July 12, 2016

Excerpt: "About two million caregivers look after 12 million children from newborns to 5-year-olds, and they are among the lowest-paid workers in the country, sometimes earning little more than minimum wage, said Ms. Whitebook, who is an author of a state-by-state comparison of the early-child-care work force that was released last week. Caregivers also get few benefits and scattershot training, and they are subject to a tangle of requirements and regulations that can vary from one program to the next."

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US: Why Does America Invest So Little in Its Children?
Source: The Atlantic, July 12, 2016

Excerpt: "In fact, the fate of all children is largely determined by their first years on this planet. Forming healthy relationships with adults early on lays the foundation for future healthy relationships. Exposure to language through stories, songs, and conversations sets the stage for academic achievement. Playing outside to master gross motor skills; creating art to master fine motor skills; pretending to be a doctor, chef, or firefighter to learn teamwork; building a tower of blocks to learn basic physics lessons—all of these activities are critical preparation for a successful school and adult life."

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US: Despite Advances in Early Ed Research, Teacher Pay Lags Far Behind

Source: 89.3 KPCC, July 11, 2016

Excerpt: ""Preschool teachers are paid less than mail-order clerks, tree trimmers and pest-control workers and child care workers make less than hair dressers and janitors," said Doggett of the Department of Education."

http://www.scpr.org/news/2016/07/11/62435/despite-advances-in-early-ed-research-teacher-pay/
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US: Where Child-Care Workers and Early Educators Earn the Most and Least
Source: The Wall Street Journal, July 11, 2016

Excerpt: "The median nationwide wage for child-care workers – people who generally care for infants and toddlers — was $9.77 an hour last year, the report said. The median for preschool teachers, who tend to take the reins when kids turn three, was $13.74. Kindergarten teachers, by comparison, earned a national median wage of $24.83 an hour."

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ON: Affordable Child Care Can Help Curb Food Insecurity
Source: The Huffington Post, July 5, 2016

Excerpt: "While some families are fortunate enough to have a stay-at-home caregiver, a parent with the flexibility to work from home, or friends and relatives who can babysit, many are not so lucky. In Ontario, only 32 per cent of dual-parent families have one parent stay at home, and in Canada, one in five families with small children are single-parent families."

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CA: Canada Child Benefit a Game-Changer for Women and Children

Source: The Huffington Post, June 30, 2016

Excerpt: "In Toronto -- 37 per cent of single mother led families live in poverty. Every single day, women are struggling to provide for themselves and their children in an increasingly expensive city. For women, the rise of precarious employment means no guaranteed hours of work, no benefits and no sick time. Wait lists for affordable housing and child care are so long that it feels hopeless. And social assistance rates remain far too low, forcing many to make the impossible choice of whether to feed their children or pay their rent. Poverty destroys lives, limits opportunity and harms families and communities."

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BC: Child Care Wanted

Source: The Squamish Chief, June 30, 2016

Excerpt: "According to district planner Sarah McJannet, Squamish has 780 child care spots. That equates to about 23 spaces per 100 children from newborn to 14 years old, McJannet said, acknowledging the figures are based on 2011 census data. Not only is child care hard to find in Squamish, what is available is more expensive than other places, according to Staples. Full-time care for her oldest child in Squamish would cost between $1,100-$1,250 a month, according to Staples. In Nanaimo she was paying $640 a month. More expensive centres charged about $800 a month."

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SK: Saskatchewan Daycares Decry Tax Inconsistencies
Source: Regina Leader-Post, July 4, 2016

Excerpt: "Daycare operators in Saskatchewan are criticizing inconsistencies in how they are taxed, saying the municipal and provincial governments need to level the playing field or exempt them entirely."

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NS: Improved Child Care Subsidy Rates Effective July 1
Government of Nova Scotia, June 28, 2016

Excerpt: "Starting on July 1, families with an income of $25,000 or less will be eligible for the maximum subsidy, up from $20,800. About 700 families currently receiving a partial subsidy will be eligible for the maximum. This change will attract about 1,200 new families into the program."

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US: Early Childhood Education Needs Improvement
Source: Florida International University, July 1, 2016

Excerpt: "In the long run, we can see that increased spending for early childhood education is not unfathomable, it’s completely possible. Advocates of early childhood education need to begin coming up with not only arguments detailing the benefits of what increased spending can and will do for America’s children, but also “feasible policy proposals.”"

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US: Soaring Child-Care Costs Squeeze Families
Source: The Wall Street Journal, July 1, 2016

Excerpt: "In 41 states, the cost of sending a 4-year-old to full-time preschool exceeds 10% of a median family income—the level the federal government deems to be affordable—according to data from the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. Full-time preschool is more expensive than average tuition at a public college in 23 states. Care for an infant costs more than average rent in 17 states, the study found."

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UK: 73% of Parents Stagger Work Leave to Cover School Holiday Childcare

Source: The Independent, July 3, 2016

Excerpt: "Nearly three-quarters of working parents plan to take a separate summer break from their partner in order to juggle looking after their children during the school holidays, a survey has found."

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AU: World-First WA Study Investigates How iPads Affect Child Development
Source: Perth Now, July 2, 2016

Excerpt: "Too much time spent on iPads and similar touchscreen devices could result in the muscles and bones of young children not developing properly, WA researchers say."

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AU: High Staff Turnover in Childcare Sector Affects Children's Development, Researcher Says

Source: ABC News, June 29, 2016

Excerpt: "A nationwide survey of 1,200 childcare workers conducted by the Queensland University of Technology found one-in-five intended on leaving their job in the next 12 months."

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Resources

Fibbling as A Parenting Tactic: Doing it with Your Kids May Be a Harmful Practice
Source: Parent Herald, July 14, 2016

Excerpt: "Research led by Kang Lee, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto, shows that lying begins early in precocious children. Among verbal 2-year-olds, 30% try to pull the wool over their parents' eyes at some point. At age 3, 50% regularly try it. Fibbing is common among 80% of 4-year-olds and is seen in nearly all healthy 5- to 7-year-olds.""

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Dads Play Key Role in Child Development
Source: Science Daily, July 14, 2016

Excerpt: "The study found that fathers' parenting-related stress had a harmful effect on their children's cognitive and language development when the children were 2 to 3 years old, even when the mothers' influences were taken into account. This impact varied by gender; fathers' influence, for example, had a larger effect on boys' language than girls' language."

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Are We Doing Enough?
Source: Canadian Paediatric Society, 2016

Excerpt: "Quality child care is a key determinant of health, development and learning in the early years. Canada has nearly 5 million children aged 0 to 12, but fewer than 990,000 regulated child care spaces. Spending on child care and preschool education is low in Canada compared with other OECD nations. The vast majority of families find child care expensive and difficult to access. Ensuring accessible, affordable child care for low-income families would ease their economic burden, make it easier for parents to enter the labour market, and help children learn alongside more advantaged peers."

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High Stakes: The Impacts of Child Care on the Human Rights of Women and Children

Source: West Coast Leaf, July 12, 2016

Excerpt: "At the heart of the High Stakes report are diverse women’s real-life stories, shared in the form of affidavits, about how the inadequacy of the child care system has impacted them and their children—undermining their safety, well-being, and human rights. The report analyzes the legal implications of these harms through the lenses of human rights, constitutional, and international law. It concludes that the current state of child care services in BC violates the human rights of women and children in complex and wide-ranging ways. We believe that BC has a responsibility to implement a coordinated, comprehensive solution to the inadequacies of the current child care system in order to end these human rights violations."

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Summer eceLINK 2016
Source: AECEO, July 12, 2016

Excerpt: "In this issue: How Does Learning Happen? Inspirational pedagogy in everyday practice depends on a well-supported ECE workforce. (Featured article available to the public); Available to members: Professional Pay and Decent Work for All – Update on the Decent Work Project; AECEO Election Results; Portraits of Child Care – Using Art and Documentation as a Form of Advocacy; Child Care and Early Years Act Phase 2 Regulations – Summary Chart."

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Early Childhood Workforce Index
Source: Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, July 7, 2016

Excerpt: "The Early Childhood Workforce Index represents the first effort to establish a baseline description of early childhood employment conditions and policies in every state and to track progress on a state-by-state basis to improve early childhood jobs. Providing states with periodic appraisals of their efforts, based on measurable status and policy indicators, is aimed at encouraging states to step up their efforts to address these persistent workforce challenges and at supporting related advocacy efforts."

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OnPolicy: Ontario's Working Poor
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, July 5, 2016

Excerpt: "Child care is also a burden: a CCPA-Ontario report on Toronto’s living wage showed that the cost of child care is a young family’s biggest expense."

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Junk Food Ads Leading to Heavier Kids: McMaster Study
Source: CBC News, July 5, 2016

Excerpt: "As of 2011, Statistics Canada reported that more than a quarter of all children from 5-17 years old in Canada have a BMI that classifies them as overweight or obese. "The increase has been astronomical over the last 10-20 years," said co-author Bradley Johnston, Scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children and Assistant Professor at McMaster University."

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Primary Early Care and Education Arrangements and Achievement at Kindergarten Entry
Source: National Center for Education Statistics, June 30, 2016

Description: "The report explores the relationship between children’s primary early care and education (ECE) arrangements the year before kindergarten and their academic skills and learning behaviors at kindergarten entry, after accounting for child and family background characteristics."

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Education Provision: Children Under 5 Years of Age, January 2016
Source: Gov.UK, Department of Education, June 30, 2016

Excerpt: "1,339,430 or 95% of the 3-and 4-year-old population benefitted from some funded early education in 2016. The number increased by 17,530 from 1,321,900 in 2015. The estimated participation rate for 3-and 4-year-olds remains the same as last year."

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Partnership for a Healthier America: Childcare Insights
Source: Partnership for a Healthier America, June 29, 2016

Excerpt: "How children spend their time while at daycare is a consideration for some parents who may want to ensure their children are engaging in some form of exercise and spending little time watching TV and playing on electronic devices. Eighty‐eight percent of parents surveyed say ‘engaging in exercise’ at daycare is extremely/very important. The average amount of active playtime children currently get at daycare daily is 42 minutes. Parents indicate that 74% want their daycare to make sure children have ‘limited screentime’; reporting a current average of 29 minutes of screen time for their children daily while in a daycare setting."

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An Australian Model of the First 1000 Days: An Indigenous-Led Process to Turn an International Initiative into an Early-Life Strategy Benefiting Indigenous Families
Source: Cambridge Journals, June 27, 2016

Excerpt: "Internationally, the 1000 days movement calls for action and investment in improving nutrition for the period from a child’s conception to their second birthday, thereby providing an organising framework for early-life interventions. To ensure Australian Indigenous families benefit from this 1000 days framework, an Indigenous-led year-long engagement process was undertaken linking early-life researchers, research institutions, policy-makers, professional associations and human rights activists with Australian Indigenous organisations and families."

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Calculating the Hidden Cost of Interrupting a Career for Child Care
Source: Center for American Progress, June 21, 2016

Excerpt: "The child care affordability crisis in the United States can be summed up in two sentences. Sixty-five percent of children younger than age 5 have all co-habiting parents in the workforce. The average annual cost to have two children in a child care center is nearly $18,000. This leaves many families to choose between spending a sizable portion of their paycheck on child care, finding less expensive—and possibly lower quality—unregulated child care, or leaving the workforce to become a full-time caregiver. This brief explores the financial toll that the latter decision places on families."

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What are the Benefits from Early Childhood Education?

Source: OECD, June 16, 2016

Excerpt: "Early childhood education and care programmes (ECEC) have become more accessible in recent years, with high enrolment rates in both early childhood educational development and preprimary education. The educational results of students at the age of 15 may be partially explained by attendance at pre-primary education, which sharply decreases the likelihood of low performance in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Pre-primary education can play a strong role in promoting equality at an early age, particularly by targeting disadvantaged groups such as first- and second-generation immigrants. Assuring and monitoring the quality of programmes is key to guaranteeing that early childhood education and care has a positive impact on both equity and performance in education."

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The Road to High-Quality Early Learning: Lessons from the States
Source: Learning Policy Institute, June 2016

Excerpt: "Although there’s considerable research on the elements of high-quality preschool and its many benefits, particularly for low-income children and English learners, there’s little information available to policymakers about how to convert their visions of good early education into on-the-ground reality. This report and brief fill that gap by describing and analyzing how four states—Michigan, West Virginia, Washington and North Carolina—have built high-quality early education systems."

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Perceptions of Parenting: Mapping the Gaps between Expert and Public Understandings of Effective Parenting in Australia
Source: FrameWorks Institute, May 2016

Excerpt: "The final section of the report ‘maps the gaps’ between expert and public views of effective parenting, identifying where these understandings overlap as well as where they diverge. This analysis identifies both the opportunities and primary challenges in effectively communicating with the public about parenting. We conclude the report by offering a set of initial recommendations for those communicating about parenting, as well as an outline for future research needed to develop a comprehensive strategy for communicating about effective parenting in Australia."

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Employment Transitions, Child Care Conflict, and the Mental Health of Low-Income Urban Women with Children

Source: Women’s Health Issues, May 13, 2016

Excerpt: "Taken together, our results suggest that valuing the benefits of paid work over unpaid work is an over-simplification and that the emphasis on placing poor women with children into paid work could be misguided. Policies that focus on moving low-income women off of government assistance and into paid work could be more effective if greater resources were devoted to increasing access to quality child care."

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