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About Us > Staff & Faculty > Kerry McCuaig


Kerry McCuaig Photo

Kerry McCuaig

Fellow in Early Childhood Policy
Cell: (647) 295 2808
Email: kerry.mccuaig@utoronto.ca
Twitter: @Kerry_earlyyear

Kerry McCuaig co-developed and produces the Early Childhood Education Report, which tracks provincial/territorial progress in early years program development. She co-authored Early Years Study 3, Making Decisions, Taking Action with Margaret McCain and the late Fraser Mustard. Kerry has had a long involvement in early childhood policy including as a founder of Toronto First Duty, a pioneer in the integrated delivery of early childhood programming. She supported similar integrated ECE service models in Atlantic Canada. . She has authored several publications, including those commissioned by the Senate of Canada, the Toronto Board of Trade, and the governments of Manitoba, New Brunswick, the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Ontario and the City of Toronto as well as reports for labour, women’s and community organizations. Kerry is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and is an advisor to the Early Childhood Development-Funders Working Group.


Selected major publications as author and/or principal researcher/writer:

McCuaig K. Why doesn’t Canada let schools provide child care? Conversation Canada. August 15, 2022

McCuaig K. & Akbari, E.  Children across Canada deserve a professional early childhood education workforce, Conversation Canada. April 25, 2022

McCuaig K. & Akbari, E. What Ontario parents really need to know about the new early learning and child care agreement, Conversation Canada. April 5, 2022

McCuaig, K., Canadian election 2021: Will the national child-care plan survive?, Conversation Canada. August 15, 2021.

McCuaig, K., Akbari, E., Foster, D. (2021). Early Childhood Education Report 2020. Toronto, ON: Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development, OISE/University of Toronto.

McCuaig, K., Yalnizyan, A. (2021). Ontario, not Quebec, holds the model for child care, The Globe and Mail. July 22, 2021.

McCuaig, K., Ottawa’s $10-a-day child care promise should heed Québec’s insights about balancing low fees with high quality. Conversation Canada. May 11, 2021.

McCuaig, K., Akbari, E., Bertrand, J., Dhuey, E. (2021). Review of Toronto Early Learning and Child Care Services: Their Unique Contribution to Toronto’s Equity, Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Goals. City of Toronto.

McCuaig, K., Yalnizyan, A. (2020). Pandemic realities offer a chance to address Canada’s long legacy of broken promises on child care, The Globe and Mail. September 25, 2020.

McCuaig, K., Akbari, E., Foster, D., Plamondon, A., Karia, E.,  Soloway, A. & Hernandez, M.   (2019)  Early Learning and Childcare Innovation ToolKit.  Toronto, ON: Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development, OISE/University of Toronto.  

McCuaig, K. & Bertrand, J.  (2019).  Policy Oversight of Outdoor Play in Early Childhood Education Setting in Canadian Provinces and Territories. Toronto, ON: Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development, OISE/University of Toronto. 

McCuaig, K., Full-day Kindergarten is what Ontario needs for a stable future. Conversation Canada. February 10, 2019.

McCuaig, K., Canada must invest more in early childhood education, says new report. Conversation Canada. February 7, 2018.

McCuaig K. & Akbari, E. (2017). The early childhood education report 2017. Toronto, ON: Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development, OISE/University of Toronto.

McCuaig, K., Janmohamed, Z., K. Akbari, E., Gananthan, R. (in press). StrongStart Evaluation. British Columbia, Ministry of Education. Victoria, British Columbia.

McCuaig, K., Dheuy E. (2016). Child Care in New Brunswick: The social and economic impacts. Toronto, ON: Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development, OISE/University of Toronto.

McCuaig, K. (2016). “Prevention Science and Early Education” in The SAGE Encyclopaedia of Contemporary Early Childhood Education. Eds. Donna Couchenour, J. Kent Chrisman.  Pp. 1077 -1080.

McCuaig, K, Akbari, E., Bertrand, J. (2016). “The role of public policies in promoting equity in early childhood.”  In Global Report on Early Childhood Development. Global Consultative Group. Ed. Abbie Raikes.

McCuaig, K., Dheuy E., Janmohamed, Z., Akbari, E.,  (2015). Feasibility Study of Universal Affordable Daycare in the Northwest Territories. Toronto, ON: Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development, OISE/University of Toronto.

Janmohamed, Z., McCuaig, K., Akbari, E., Gananathan, R., & Jenkins, J. (2014). Schools at the Centre: Findings from Case Studies Exploring Seamless Early Learning in Ontario. Toronto, ON: Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development, OISE/University of Toronto.

McCuaig K. & Akbari, E. (2014). The early childhood education report: Its time for preschool. Toronto, ON: Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development, OISE/University of Toronto.

McCuaig, K (October 2, 2013) Getting it Right from the Start:  The Scientific, Social and Economic Rationale for Investing in Early Childhood Education. Paper presented to Yukon departments of Education, Health and Social Services and the Women’s Directorate, Whitehorse, Canada.

McCuaig, K. (May 29, 2013) Supporting All Children To Reach The Most Vulnerable. Paper presented to the Commission of Inquiry into the Circumstances Surrounding the Death of Phoenix Sinclair. Winnipeg, Manitoba.

McCuaig, K. (September 12, 2012) Quebec’s early childhood policy. Paper presented to II Symposia Internacional de Desenvolvimento da Primeira Infância, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

McCuaig, K. (June 6, 2012) Influencing public policy:  The challenges and successes of Toronto First Duty. Paper presented to Models of EC Services International Conference, Montreal, Quebec.

McCuaig, K. (2012). Serving all children to catch the most vulnerable. Healthcare Quarterly, 15 Special Issue (4), 26-31.

McCain, M., Mustard, M., & McCuaig, K. (2011). Early years study 3: Making decisions, taking action. Toronto: Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation.

Kerry McCuaig & Colin Hughes, When Mom Must Work: Family Day Care as a Welfare-To-Work Option (Apr. 2000), § 2.13 tbi.1 at 4 at http://www.childcarecanada.org/CPAG_CCEF/momswelfare/index.html.

Selected Presentations:

Panelist: Professionalism. Compensation, Respect in the Early Childhood Workforce, 17th Annual Summer Institute on Early Childhood Development The Early Years: From Disruption to Recovery and Beyond, Atkinson Centre, University of Toronto. June 2, 2021.

Panelist: "Should National Childcare Be in the Throne Speech?”, The Pearson Centre. September 10, 2020.

Mothers and Others: Child care as an equity measure, Global Need for Formal Child Care Symposium, McGill University,  Montreal.  August 11, 2017.

Canadian trends in ECE Play based Learning,
NWT JK/K Play-based In-Service and Training, Yellowknife, May 16-19, 2017.

Canadian trends in early education: Learnings for British Columbia. Presentation to the Aboriginal Education Provincial Gathering. Richmond, British Columbia. November 3, 2016.

Quality standards in ECEC programming: Lessons from Canada. Presentation to the OECD ECEC Network, Luxembourg. November 3, 2016.

Lessons from the Assembly. Keynote to the Ensemble for Education – 1st Early Childhood Education Action Congress. Paris, France. McCuaig, K. June 6-7, 2016.

Monitoring outcomes in ECEC policy. EECERA Annual Conference: Innovation, Experimentation & Adventure in Early Childhood. Barcelona, Spain. September 7-10, 2015.

Advancing an Early Childhood Education (ECE) Agenda. Canada's Public Policy Forum. Toronto. September 29, 2014.

Creating a Good Life for Children through Quality Early Childhood Education. Presentation to the Conference of Ministers for Children, Copenhagen, Denmark. June 24, 2014.

Recent Media Interviews:

Lower daycare fees may remain years away for many parents, despite government promises The Globe and Mail, March 22, 2022.

Analysis: N.B.’s child care plan, good or bad deal? Telegraph-Journal, March 21, 2022.

Why isn’t Ontario signing a child care deal? Interview CBC Metro Morning with Ismaila Alfa. August 9, 2021.

Province can unlock federal child care cash: Expert. Telegraph Journal, August 6, 2021.
Why Ontario is best equipped to set up accessible, high quality early learning & care? Global News Radio with host Greg Brady. July 22, 2021.
The impact on children and staff of postponing March break. Global News Radio with host Peter Shurman. February 11, 2021.

Opening up kindergarten – and the struggles for educators keeping students distant. Global News Radio, with hosts Supriya & Greg. August 24, 2020.

You want kindergartners to social distance? Are you kidding me?’: How the youngest learners are about to become the toughest test for back to school under COVID-19. Toronto Star, Megan Ogilvie, Health Reporter. August 22, 2020.

Federal Child Care Policy. Interview CBC TV New Network with host Carole MacNeil. October 3, 2019.