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News

Foundations Taking a Bold Leadership Role on the Public Policy Front
Source: The Lawson Foundation, August 27, 2015

Excerpt: "The Lawson Foundation is a founding member of the Funders Working Group on Early Childhood Development (FWG-ECD), a group of 8 Canadian foundations that regularly come together to talk about the importance of quality early childhood education (ECE) and to look at ways to collaborate. Recently, the working group made the decision to play a stronger collective role on the public policy front. After all, it’s hard to see how we will see meaningful change on the ECE front without trying to influence public policy."

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ON: Sandals Disputes Mulcair's Claim That Ontario Supports His Child Care Plan
Source: CP24, August 23, 2015

Excerpt: "The Ontario government is disputing NDP Leader Tom Mulcair's assertion that the country's largest province supports his plan to create one million $15-a-day child care spaces. The province's education minister, Liz Sandals, says Ontario welcomes new investments and interest from "all federal partners" on child care. But she says Mulcair has not provided sufficient details of his plan -- which would require provinces to pick up 40 per cent of the tab -- to determine whether Ontario would be prepared to buy in."

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CA: Women’s Issues ‘Invisible’ This Election, Warns Group
Source: Toronto Star, August 24, 2015

Excerpt: "Women’s issues are notably absent from the federal campaign so far, a coalition is warning, and priorities like gender equality will become “invisible” in this election unless there’s a national discussion."

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CA: Where Each Party Stands on Child Care, From Universal Daycare to Universal Child Benefits (Video)
Source: National Post, August 24, 2015

Excerpt: "As political parties jostle for the votes of families with children, they’re each pitching their view of how best to help parents with child care."

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CA: Forest and Nature School in Canada: Growing a Movement
Source: York Region Nature Collaborative, August 24, 2015

Excerpt: "The York Region Nature Collaborative is working to be a part of the movement that helps bring back outdoor play and nature experiences to childhood because as Frost (2009) relates “during the short span of three or four decades, centuries-old freedom to play has evolved into a play and play environments crisis that threatens the health, fitness and welfare of children”."

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CA: What We Know about the NDP’s Childcare Plan
Source: Global News, August 20, 2015

Excerpt: "The NDP plan involves giving provinces the funding to either create new spaces, or lower the cost of existing spaces to $15 a day. Some provinces are willing to play ball. British Columbia, Manitoba and New Brunswick all said they’d be willing to negotiate with any party on a national daycare plan."

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US: Early Childhood Education Offers Unique Chance for Bipartisan Consensus
Source: Forbes, August 25, 2015

Excerpt: "More and more evidence tells us that investing in the education of America’s young people needs to begin earlier in their lives—stimulating socialization and a desire to learn, and dramatically improving their long-term life prospects. The return per dollar spent on early childhood education is among the most productive human-capital investments possible, yet as a society we’re not making enough of those investments."

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US: Almost One-Third of Children Live in Poverty in ‘The Richest Nation in the World’
Source: Mint Press News, August 25, 2015

Excerpt: "The financial collapse of 2008 and the absence of true economic recovery in the years since has left millions more children in poverty than before the recession. About 22 percent of American children live in poverty, and even that figure may not fully account for all those who are struggling."

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US: Early Childhood Health Targeted as Path to Better Education
Source: New Haven Register, August 24, 2015

Excerpt: "Experts are focusing more money and attention on the health of young children in Connecticut in an effort to prepare them to be successful in school later on. The efforts include developmental screenings at child-care centers; home visits and information hot lines for parents; better collaboration with pediatricians; and more support for preschool staff members dealing with emotional and behavioral issues."

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US: Child Care Got Left Behind
Source: U.S. News & World Report, July 21, 2015

Excerpt: "When policymakers discuss education, child care is rarely mentioned. And to some extent, that is understandable. Most child care in the U.S. is poor or mediocre when it comes to quality and is designed to enable parents to work rather than to educate children. At the same time, the majority of young children under five have working parents and spend a considerable amount of their formative years in child care. If we want children to be adequately prepared for success in elementary school, we must invest in helping families access high-quality child care."

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IE: Affordable Childcare Vital if Women to Play Full Part in Society
Source: The Irish Times, August 20, 2015

Excerpt: "Affordable childcare must be made available if women are to pay a full part in public and civil life, the National Women’s Council of Ireland has said."

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CA: The Economics (and Ethics) of Affordable Child Care
Source: Broadbent Institute, August 19, 2015

Excerpt: "Logically, women should now be earning more than men and taking the preponderance of leadership roles in the economy. But, women are not. A central reason seems to be that women are primarily responsible for child rearing. Men’s roles are changing: they do more housework and child care than in the past. But women bear the negative employment effects of rearing children. This set of issues is often described as a problem of work-family balance. For women, family and work are often in conflict."

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CA: Older or Younger? How to Decide the Best Age for Your Child to Start School
Source: Yahoo Shine On, August 18, 2015

Excerpt: "Canadian children are, in fact, wrangling with crayons, glue sticks, scissors, and storytime, at a comparatively young age. The 2014 study, “It’s Time for Preschool” by the Atkinson Centre at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) reported that 58 per cent of 2 to 4-year-olds across Canada regularly attended preschool between 2011 and 2014."

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CA: Quality Public Child Care: An Economic No-Brainer
Source: Rabble, August 18, 2015

Excerpt: "The economic benefits of a universal public child-care program can be grouped into four broad categories: Positive impact on women's labour force participation and employment; Direct and indirect job-creation associated with the provision of child care services; Improvements in household and family financial well-being; Superior child development, resulting in better health, employment, income, and community outcomes in future years."

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CA: CFUW Releases Early Learning and Child Care Videos Ahead of Election (Video)
Source: Canadian Federation of University Women, August 17, 2015

Excerpt: "The Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) is pleased to announce the release of seven videos on YouTube on the subject of early learning and child care. Featuring Zeenat Janmohamed of the Atkinson Centre, these videos were recorded at the CFUW Guelph Community Child Care Forum, organized to bring awareness to the importance of early childhood education and the serious lack of quality licensed child care spaces in Canada."

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CA: Canadians Don’t Love Stephen Harper’s Baby Bursary, Poll Finds
Source: Vice, August 17, 2015

Excerpt: "Under the expanded Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB), families would get $60 per month for each kid between seven and 18, and $160 per month for each child under the age of seven (an increase of $60)… the Conservatives backloaded the benefit until right before the election. Families got months' worth of cheques in one go, just a month prior to the official launch of the 42nd general election. It was expected to be a political boon for the Conservative government ...But, guess what: it wasn't. A new poll conducted by Forum Research shows that Canadians weren't tremendously thrilled at the optics of being mailed a wad of cash. Of those who received the cheque, 36 percent said the UCCB would make them less likely to vote Conservative."

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CA: The UCCB Is Actually Helping Lower Income Canadians
Source: The Huffington Post, August 14, 2015

Excerpt: "Parents who were initially happy about their cheques are now concerned about tax season. It feels a little like bait and switch -- parents get more money now but they are going to have to pay it back in tax in April. Whether you agree or disagree with the government changes or policy, there is one positive aspect of the enhanced UCCB that is not the same with the usual tax credits. That is, the people who benefit the most from the increased UCCB are lower income Canadians."

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CA: A Flexible, Reliable, National Child-Care Program Would Bring Canadians Together
Source: Rabble, August 12, 2015

Excerpt: "Tales about parents desperate for a child care space, stories of sometimes dangerous unlicensed arrangements and limited public accountability and -- outside Quebec -- sky-high fees are common to communities across much of Canada. The painfully obvious conclusion to this bleak picture is that families need a national child care program that includes all of Canada. Indeed, the evidence doesn't support the always-optimistic idea that provinces will act as "laboratories of innovation" to produce the proverbial thousand points of light. What we've learned from many years of experience is that without a federal role to provide the "glue" and substantial federal funding to scale up provincial efforts, provinces have remained more similar in what they lack than they are different in their initiatives and intentions."

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CA: Calculator: How Much is the New Child-Care Benefit Really Worth to You?
Source: Vancouver Sun, August 12, 2015

Excerpt: "But while the government gave with one hand, it took with another. The new UCCB replaces the Child Tax Credit, which was worth $337.50 per kid. And that extra $720 is taxable income, so you’ll have to give some of it back to the government come tax time. How much of the UCCB are you likely to keep when all is said and done? Fill out our online calculator to find out."

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CA: The Folly of Universal Childcare
Source: National Post, August 11, 2015

Excerpt: "The Conservatives’ campaign promise to introduce yet another boutique tax credit — for home renovations this time, although that scarcely matters — is almost indefensible as economic policy. Of course, if the past is anything to go by, the irritation expressed by economists will be more than compensated by its popularity with the voters. This is probably not the most direct way of introducing a column about public daycare. But it turns out that the parallels between boutique tax credits and public daycare are surprisingly close."

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CA: Times Have Changed. We Need Affordable Child Care. (Video)
Source: CUPE SCFP, August 8, 2015

Excerpt: "Families deserve quality, affordable child care they can rely on. Yet too many families pay more for their monthly child care than they do for housing – up to $2,000 a month. We need a federal child care plan that is affordable, will help families and allow more women to join the workforce and boost our economy."

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CA: Free Range Kids Just the Latest Parenting Trend (Audio)
Source: CBC Radio, August 7, 2015

Excerpt: "In reaction to our overprotective society, some parents are adopting a hands-off approach called "free range parenting" — but this makes a lot of people uneasy because what some see as giving their kids independence appears to others as parental neglect."

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QC: Ped-Day Daycare Fees to Go Up After Quebec Cuts Funding
Source: CBC News, August 12, 2015

Excerpt: "Parents who use school daycare services on pedagogical days may soon find themselves paying double for the service after the Quebec government slashed funding for those days in half."

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NS: Centres Helping Students Socialize
Source: Cape Breton Post, August 16, 2015

Excerpt: "Years ago, parents were rarely concerned about their child's ability to socialize. Families were larger and children played with their siblings. Your street always had enough kids for a game of ball or a hockey team. The only rule in most neighborhoods was that the children had to come home when the streetlights came on or you would be in big trouble. I guess that's what you would call the "good old days." Today, many parents have to arrange play-dates to socialize their children."

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NU: Nunavut Looks at Exempting Low-Income Family Tax Credit
Source: CBC News, August 14, 2015

Excerpt: "Since 2006, the Universal Child Care Benefit has flowed straight to all families in Nunavut, with the territory not deducting any of the tax credit for their own social programs. But up until now, the Government of Nunavut chose to deduct the NCBS from families on income assistance, reinvesting the money into territorial programs for families instead of giving the supplement to them directly."

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US: U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee Highlights Working Families' Struggling to Pay Child Care
Source: Contra Costa Times, August 18, 2015

Excerpt: "For some families, that means one working parent stays home to raise the children, or pay about $7,000 to $15,000 a year for child care, just for one kid, Sharp said. Budgeting for child care isn't always an option for families in Oakland, in which 20 percent of residents are living below the poverty line and where the median income lags 15 percent behind other California cities, according to the U.S. Census."

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US: Statistical Proof that the U.S. Stinks at Work-Life Balance
Source: Fatherly, August 14, 2015

Excerpt: "Interestingly, 17 percent of American men work over 50 hours every week, compared to 7 percent of American women, but both genders spend the same amount of time on personal care and leisure. That 10 percent gap? Women devote it to care, but it's not personal, and it's certainly not leisurely. Dads may be taking on more duties in the home than ever before, but moms still carry the bulk of domestic responsibilities in most U.S. families."

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AU: Devices in Schools and at Home Means Too Much Screen Time for Kids
Source: The Conversation, August 16, 2015

Excerpt: "It is likely that school-provided or self-provided device programs greatly increase students’ screen time both at school and at home. This is problematic. At the same time, parents are urged to monitor their adolescents’ screen use in line with Department of Health guidelines due to the potential health risks that can result from heavy usage."

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AU: New 'No Jab, No Play' Vaccination Laws to Be Introduced in Victoria
Source: ABC News, August 15, 2015

Excerpt: "Victorian pre-schoolers will be banned from attending child care or kindergarten unless they are vaccinated, under new 'no jab, no play' laws to be introduced by the State Government."

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UK: Childcare in Britain is a Ticking Timebomb. Something's Got to Give
Source: The Telegraph, August 18, 2015

Excerpt: "Affordable childcare is crucial to Britain’s economy but it is also the lack of flexible care that is a primary barrier to women returning to the workplace. Mr Osborne may want 500,000 more women to return to the UK labour market by the beginning of 2016, but how is that achievable while we still lack comprehensive out-of-school care provision?"

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ON: High Daycare Fees, Lack of Spaces Plague GTA Parents
Source: Toronto Star, August 1, 2015

Excerpt: "Although daycare subsidies are available for more than one-third of the city’s licensed spaces, demand far outstrips supply. Toronto has the highest child-poverty rate in Canada and provincial funding for subsidies supports just 29 per cent of the city’s low-income children under the age of 12."

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CA: Election Issues 2015: A Maclean’s Primer on Child Care
Source: Maclean’s, August 2, 2015

Excerpt: "Of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s policy boasts, none riles his opponents quite like his claim to have shifted child care money from bureaucrats and academics “to the real experts. Their names are mom and dad.” NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair counters with a promise to partly fund hundreds of thousands of new daycare spaces across Canada. Many Liberals fondly recall the national child care strategy that the Paul Martin government cobbled together in deals with the provinces in 2005—only to have Harper scrap it after he won power the next year—but Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau hasn’t yet floated an early child care policy."

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CA: Everything You Need to Know about the Parties’ Platforms, From Taxes and Terrorism to the Environment
Source: National Post, August 2, 2015

Description: "A breakdown of the Conservative, Liberal, NDP and Green Party platforms on all issues."

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CA: Tax on UCCB Payments Frustrates Parents
Source: CBC News, July 31, 2015

Excerpt: "Tina Ward has paid a subsidized rate since she put her daughter into daycare five years ago. Ward initially thought the extra cash was great. But then she heard the government eliminated the Child Tax Credit."

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CA: YMCA Report Says Parents Think Kids Get Less Activity in Summer than During School Year
Source: Toronto Star, July 31, 2015

Excerpt: "Perez said keeping kids active in the summer takes effort. There’s no recess forcing them to get outside and no gym class for them to run around in. To keep her own kids — four-year-old Abby and seven-year-old Ashton — moving while she’s at work, Perez signs them up for a slew of active day camps. Ashton’s one-week hockey camp alone costs $340."

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AB: Minimum Wage Increase Will Increase Daycare Fees, Owner Says
Source: CBC News, August 3, 2015

Excerpt: "People who run daycares say the increase in Alberta's minimum wage will increase child care costs. The Alberta NDP government plans to increase the hourly wage by $1 on Oct. 1, with an aim of phasing in more increases to hit $15 an hour by 2018."

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NS: Early Learning Centres Secure Future
Source: The Chronicle Herald, July 30, 2015

Excerpt: "To help prepare today’s young children for the elementary school experience, the provincial government, under the leadership of Education Minister Karen Casey, has opened preschool early years centres all across Nova Scotia. The Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation is providing $500,000 over five years to help establish these centres and the province is providing $125,000 per site. Margaret Norrie McCain is making a profound impact on our Nova Scotian communities through her philanthropy and advocacy for children."

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US: Is Technology Hurting Our Kids?
Source: Huffington Post, August 5, 2015

Excerpt: "The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages any screen time for kids under 2 years of age, and suggests that entertainment media should be limited to just 2 hours a day for older kids. Too much screen time has been linked to childhood obesity, sleep disorders, behavior problems, and academic challenges. But is there a difference between schoolwork and entertainment media?"

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US: ‘It’s Just Math’: Preschoolers Can Do More Than We Might Think
Source: The Seattle Times, August 3, 2015

Excerpt: "Even in the crib, research shows, infants can tell the difference between eight dots and 16 using an innate “number sense” we share with other species that helps us make some size comparisons without counting."

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US: Expert Panel Withholds Support for Early Autism Screening
Source: The New York Times, August 3, 2015

Excerpt: "For years experts have urged physicians to screen infants and toddlers for autism in order to begin treatment as early as possible. But now an influential panel of experts has concluded there is not enough evidence to recommend universal autism screening of young children."

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US: If You Can’t Afford Good Day Care, Here’s Why
Source: MSN, July 31, 2015

Excerpt: "To cover all those costs, parents are making budget cuts, taking second jobs, asking family and friends for help, or even going into debt. Nearly 1 in 4 couples fight about childcare costs. Nearly 70 percent of the of working parents said that the cost of childcare had influenced their career decisions, with 35 percent changing jobs to make more money and 24 percent taking a second job to help pay for it."

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US: The Diaper Dilemma
Source: The Atlantic, July 21, 2015

Excerpt: "Infants use about 240 diapers per month. A year’s supply of diapers costs $936. That means a single mother mother working full time at the minimum wage can expect to spend 6 percent of her annual pay on Pampers alone."

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US: How Childhood Trauma Could Be Mistaken for ADHD
Source: The Atlantic, July 7, 2015

Excerpt: "Brown was completing her residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, when she realized that many of her low-income patients had been diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These children lived in households and neighborhoods where violence and relentless stress prevailed. Their parents found them hard to manage and teachers described them as disruptive or inattentive. Brown knew these behaviors as classic symptoms of ADHD, a brain disorder characterized by impulsivity, hyperactivity, and an inability to focus."

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US: Pediatrics Group to Recommend Reading Aloud to Children from Birth
Source: The New York Times, June 24, 2015

Excerpt: "With the increased recognition that an important part of brain development occurs within the first three years of a child’s life, and that reading to children enhances vocabulary and other important communication skills, the group, which represents 62,000 pediatricians across the country, is asking its members to become powerful advocates for reading aloud, every time a baby visits the doctor."

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AU: Tony Abbott's Childcare Changes Will 'Reduce Access and Add Complexity'
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald, August 3, 2015

Excerpt: "The childcare package at the heart of the Abbott government's May budget will diminish access to childcare services, reduce flexibility and introduce baffling complexity, experts have warned."

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Research Reports & Resources

Parents' Perception of Stroller Use in Young Children: A Qualitative Study
Source: BMC Public Health, August 20, 2015

Excerpt: "Despite their wide usage, it has recently been suggested that stroller use may reduce physical activity levels of young children. However, there have been no studies on stroller use as it relates to physical activity outcomes. The objectives of this study were to understand the context of stroller use for young children and parents’ perceptions of the relationship between stroller use and their children’s physical activity."

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Prevalence of Obesity among Children and Adolescents in the United States and Canada
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 25, 2015

Excerpt: "Both Canada and the United States have seen increases in childhood obesity from 1980 to the beginning of the 21st century, and then no recent changes in prevalence. This plateau (or in some cases, a decrease) in childhood obesity prevalence has been reported in at least eight other countries. Similar to childhood obesity, the prevalence of obesity among adults increased in Canada and the United States from the late 1980s and early 1990s to the first decade of the 21st century."

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Researcher Studies How Language Shapes Our Ability to Process Information
Source: Medical Xpress, August 25, 2015

Excerpt: "Professor Yang's work with children has already seen results, however. One study saw her examine the impact of being raised in a bilingual versus monolingual household for children of low economic status. "Children of low socioeconomic status generally have lower cognitive function than those with high socioeconomic status. This might be because both parents are out working to earn money, leaving them home alone and without intellectual stimulation," she explains."

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Teaching Vocab to Kids Early May Lead to Better Academics, Behavior
Source: Eureka Alert!, August 21, 2015

Excerpt: "Two-year-old children with larger oral vocabularies enter U.S. kindergarten classrooms better at reading and mathematics as well as better behaved, according to a team of researchers lead by Paul Morgan, associate professor of education policy studies, Penn State."

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Community Hubs in Ontario: A Strategic Framework and Action Plan
Source: Government of Ontario, July 2015

Description: "This report summarizes what the Premier’s Community Hubs Framework Advisory Group heard when they met with community members, stakeholders and other government ministries to learn how the government can deliver public services through local, community hubs."

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Cumulative Risk Disparities in Children's Neurocognitive Functioning: A Developmental Cascade Model (subscription required)
Source: Wiley Online Library, April 6, 2015

Excerpt: "The current longitudinal study examined the role of cumulative social risk on children's theory of mind (ToM) and executive functioning (EF) across early development. Further, we also tested a cascade model of development in which children's social cognition at 18 months was hypothesized to predict ToM and EF at age 4.5 through intermediary language skills at age 3. We then examined whether this developmental mechanism varied as a function of social risk status. Participants were 501 children recruited when they were newborns, at which point eight psychosocial risk factors were assessed and combined into a metric of cumulative social disadvantage."

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Cumulative Biomedical Risk and Social Cognition in the Second Year of Life: Prediction and Moderation by Responsive Parenting
Source: Frontiers in Psychology, April 1, 2015

Excerpt: "At 18 months, children show marked variability in their social-cognitive skill development, and the preponderance of past research has focused on constitutional and contextual factors in explaining this variability. Extending this literature, the current study examined whether cumulative biomedical risk represents another source of variability in social cognition at 18 months. Further, we aimed to determine whether responsive parenting moderated the association between biomedical risk and social cognition."

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Animal Models of Maternal Behaviour: Insights into our Understanding the Endocrinology, Neurobiology, Genetics and Development of Mothering
Source: Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development, Parenting Skills, March 2015

Excerpt: "New mothers experience a multitude of physiological changes that under optimal conditions may function to prime them to respond ‘maternally’ to their infants. These perinatal changes include enormous fluctuations in the levels of circulating hormones and changes in brain systems known to regulate mothering in a number of species."

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Start with Play
Source: Early Childhood Development Association of PEI, August 12, 2015

Excerpt: "Your child's early years are the most precious and the most important. At this age, children learn about the world around them, and develop skills that will help them to grow and thrive. Early Childhood Educators of PEI are the certified professionals who create optimum learning experiences for your child by providing the environment and support to help your child learn for life. And, it all starts with play! Use this website as a resource to discover how your child learns through play."

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Vocabulary at 2 May Predict Kindergarten Success
Source: WebMD, August 18, 2015

Except: "The analysis of data from more than 8,600 children in the United States showed that 2-year-olds with larger speaking vocabularies did better academically and had fewer behavioral problems when they later entered kindergarten."

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Improving School Readiness: Creating a Better Start for London
Source: Public Health England, August 10, 2015

Excerpt: "Failing to invest sufficiently in quality early care and education short changes taxpayers  because the return on investment is greater than many other economic development options: Failing to invest sufficiently in quality early care and education short changes taxpayers because the return on investment is greater than many other economic development options."

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Child Care in State Economies
Source: Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board, July 2015

Description: "Child Care in State Economies examines the child care industry’s effect on parents’ participation in the labor force, and provides extensive details regarding the industry’s state economic impact, including: usage rates, the role of public funding, revenues, and business structure. The report was commissioned by the Committee for Economic Development, produced by the economic firm, Region Track, Inc., and generously supported by the Alliance for Early Success."

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Infants and Toddlers: Competent and Confident Communicators and Explorers
Source: The Education Review Office, New Zealand Government, June 2015

Excerpt: "Research shows that education and care are interrelated. For infants, the curriculum combines care routines and everyday experiences. Teachers need to understand the different communication styles of infants and the increased physical care and emotional nurturing they require. The relationships and interactions between teachers and infants (and their parents and whānau) are more important than the activities that infants participate in. Practices that provided positive learning outcomes for infants were evident in services where teachers knew the infants well, and were knowledgeable about attachment theories and how to respond to infants’ non-verbal cues. Primary caregiving was a strong feature."

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Survey for Full Day Kindergarten Team Members
Source: Best Start Resource Centre
Deadline: September 30, 2015

Description: "The Best Start Resource Centre is conducting a Needs Assessment related to physical activity and young children. We would like to hear from teachers and early childhood educators who work in the kindergarten classroom. The survey should take approximately 5 minutes to complete. Responses will be used to inform a project which will impact physical activity levels in young children including new online resources and training opportunities.

Should you have any questions, please connect with Lindsay Siple at l.siple@healthnexus.ca or 416-408-2249 / 1-800-397-9567 ext 2258."

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Principals’ Perceptions of the School Food Environment in Alberta
Source: Alberta Policy Coalition for Chronic Disease Prevention, July 2015

Excerpt: "This survey explored principals’ perceptions of the school food environment in Alberta. More specifically, we asked principals about a) school food programs and services in place at their school, b) school food policies and administrative procedures, and c) school demographic information."

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Premature Birth Associated with Introversion in Adulthood
Source: Medical News Today, July 28, 2015

Excerpt: "Participants who were born very prematurely and/or had a very low birth weight scored significantly higher than the control participants in three of the five categories: agreeableness, introversion and neuroticism. These significant differences remained even after adjusting scores for the influence of other potential risk factors, such as low intelligence."

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Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are Skilled at Reading Emotion Body Language
Source: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, June 12, 2015

Excerpt: "In 1997, Baron-Cohen, Jolliffe, Mortimore, and Robertson proposed what they deemed to be ‘‘an adult test of theory of mind ability’’ that required participants to identify other people’s inner affective and cognitive states by looking at photographs of their eyes. Central to skilled social interaction and interpersonal relationships, ToM refers to the ability to ascribe mental states like true and false beliefs to self and others and to understand how beliefs, even those at odds with physical reality, can shape people’s behavior. ToM is most often assessed using inferential false belief tests that require children to predict the actions or thoughts of protagonists who hold false beliefs that the children themselves do not share. Children without disabilities routinely fail false belief tests at 3 years of age but mostly pass them by 5 or 6 years of age, suggesting a watershed transition in ToM during the preschool years."

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Valuing Families, Valuing Work: Four Ways Policymakers Can Help Low-Paid Workers and Their Children
Source: Michigan League for Public Policy, June 11, 2015

Excerpt: "The best way to leave poverty, support a family and move toward economic security is through work, yet not all jobs have the reliability and flexibility that workers need in order to stay employed and contribute to the economy. Most middle- and upper-income workers take for granted a predictable work schedule and the ability to take time off for sickness or family needs, but for many low-paid workers, sickness, last minute schedule changes or lack of child care result in loss of money and difficulty doing what is best for themselves and their families."

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Observing the Unexpected Enhances Infants’ Learning and Exploration
Source: Science, April 3, 2015

Excerpt: "The sight of an object that violated expectations enhanced learning and promoted information-seeking behaviors; specifically, infants learned more effectively about objects that committed violations, explored those objects more, and engaged in hypothesis-testing behaviors that reflected the particular kind of violation seen. Thus, early in life, expectancy violations offer a wedge into the problem of what to learn."

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How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across A Lifetime (Video)
Source: Ted Talks, September 2014

Description: "Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up. Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain. This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who’ve experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. An impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to confront the prevention and treatment of trauma, head-on."

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