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UNICEF Report Card 15: The Equalizer: How Education Creates Fairness for Children in Canada
October 2018

"The report measures the rights and well-being of children in rich countries over the past 18 years. UNICEF compares countries so they can learn and do better. The 2018 UNICEF Report Card 15 is focused on equality in education."

Special thanks to from UNICEF Canada went to Kerry McCuaig and Dr. Emis Akbari, Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development, University of Toronto, for producing data and analysis for early child education in Canada.

Early childhood services that work for children, families and islanders
June 2017

"The research is designed to evaluate: The effects of the continuous early years program participation on children’s readiness for school; The value of a focused professional development agenda on child outcomes; The impact of public investments in early years programming on child outcomes."

The role of public policies in promoting equity in early childhood, in the Global Report on Equity Early Childhood

"Early childhood is the most effective and cost-efficient time to address inequalities and break intergenerational cycles of disadvantage."

‘Dose-Response’ Relations Between Participation in Integrated Early Childhood Services and Children's Early Development
April 2016

"This study investigated the effects of participation levels (dose) on child development (response) in five school sites offering integrated early childhood services as part of the Toronto First Duty (TFD) demonstration project. The TFD model offered an integrated school-based service array for children under 6, including public school kindergarten, childcare, family literacy, parenting supports and other early childhood services. While investigating program dose effects, this study also considered the social ecology of the child, including family- and school-level characteristics that might alter the effectiveness of community-level service integration efforts to improve child development outcomes in kindergarten as children enter school."

Child Care in New Brunswick: The Social & Economic Impacts
November 2015

"This study was commissioned by the New Brunswick Department of Education and Early Childhood Development to support the work of its Child Care Taskforce. The authors were asked to develop a cost benefit analysis of the potential social and economic impacts of public spending on child care in the province. They were also asked to provide recommendations on child care service delivery based on best practices in other Canadian jurisdictions."

Feasibility Study of Universal, Affordable Daycare in the Northwest Territories
June 2015

"This study builds on a wide body of research from across disciplines that documents the benefits of early childhood education and care (ECEC) for children, families and society. The evidence suggests that accessible, quality ECEC would deliver similar benefits to the Northwest Territories. The key informant and survey and focus group participants who shared their views as part of the study were aware of the connections between ECEC and child, family and societal well-being. Using NWT data, the economic analysis predicts a similar ratio of costs to benefits from public spending on ECEC as found in studies of comparable regions. The GNWT motion commissioning this study on the feasibility of universal daycare reflects the attention policy-makers across Canada and internationally are affording early childhood education and care."

Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation
April 2015

"The report offers recommendations to build a workforce that is unified by the foundation of the science of child development and early learning and the shared knowledge and competencies that are needed to provide consistent, high-quality support for the development and early learning of children from birth through age 8."

Schools at the Centre: Findings from Case Studies Exploring Seamless Early Learning in Ontario (pdf)
December 2014

The Schools at the Centre study explores the impact of full day kindergarten and extended hours programming on educators, families and early years administrators in three Ontario regions. By exploring the processes and partnerships developed between school boards, regional governments and community organizations the researchers were able to uncover lessons to inform policy and practice. The aim of the study is to strengthen child and family centred services in communities.

The Early Childhood Education Report 2014
November 2014

"The immediate and long-term benefits of quality early childhood eduacation (ECE) for children and society are well documented.  Early childhood educaiton is a job creator in its own right, while supporting parents as they work or upgrade their skills."

The Mighty O!
October 2014

"For Emis Akbari, a post-doc at OISE’s Atkinson Centre, writing a children’s book was never a career aspiration. Reconnecting with childhood friends Brian and Laura Veloso via Facebook, she learned that their third child Owen, now six, had been born with Hyperplasmic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), a rare and complex congenital heart defect in which the left side of the heart is critically underdeveloped."

Ontario's Full-day Kindergarten: A Bold Public Policy Initiative (pdf)
June 2014

Can Ontario's universal full-day kindergarten program help to level the playing field? The list of possibilities is long: closing the gap of language experience of kids living in poverty, reaching all vulnerable kids, including those in the middle class, contributing support to families who need child care, and ensuring that care and education are combined in high quality programs that boost overall child development as well as academic skills and economic success. Research has shown that many of these goals can be accomplished by high quality universal early childhood programs.

Too Far From Perfect: A Father-Daughter Conversation about Public Education
September 2013

Too Far from Perfect is based on the reflections of a Toronto high school student about her learning journey from pre-school to grade 12. Through a dialogue with her father, educator Charles Pascal, Tai Notar describes the lessons learned about what has made the big difference to her learning and the educational aspirations of her peers. While Tai’s focus in on catching teachers and others doing things right, her narrative also calls attention to things that need to change. In this regard, Tai provides some provocative ideas about how public education can move closer to perfect. This father-daughter conversation is a must read for teachers and parents who believe that we need to listen more carefully to the authentic stories of our children and students.

Maternal Employment Rates (pdf)
July 31, 2013

Excerpt: "Data on maternal employment rates are presented both by age of youngest child and by the number of dependent children under age 15. Employment rates refer to the annual average calculated from various national employment or household surveys and from the European Labour Force Survey. There is yet no comprehensive regular annual data collection of maternal (or parental) employment across OECD countries. Data are presented for 2009 or the most recent year available (see the comparability and data issues section for details on the definition of paid employment)."

Early Learning and Early Childhood Education - An Accord by the Association of Canadian Deans of Education (pdf)
May, 2013

The Accord on Early Learning and  Early Childhood Education by the Association of Canadian Deans of Education (ACDE) seeks to address the uneven provision of quality early learning experiences by highlighting practices that focus on the learning and care of all children; promoting improved, better connected education for preschool and elementary children; and recognizing educator knowledge as vital to effective education for early learners and their families.  It was launched at the Canadian Society for Studies in Education Conference, Victoria, B.C. on June 2. 

One School Board's Response to "The Munchkin Invasion: Does Full-Day Kindergarten deliver?" Maclean’s Magazine, May 27, 2013 (pdf)
May 22, 2013

Article by MaryLou Mackie and Scott Podrebarac of the Waterloo Region District School Board: Does Full Day Kindergarten deliver? Early indicators point to an enthusiastic "Yes!"  The experience of the Waterloo Region District School Board, a district that has embraced both Full Day Kindergarten (FDK), and the vision of extended Before and After school programs articulated in Charles Pascal’s, With our Best Future in Mind, suggests that there are immediate and sustained gains for children.

Reviewing the Evidence on Early Education:  Where MacLean’s Went Wrong
An Evidence-Based Response to Maclean’s Article on Early Child Education (pdf)
May 16, 2013

Article by Charles Pascal and Janette Pelletier: Full day kindergarten for four and five year olds in Ontario has many champions – parents, educators, researchers and the children themselves.  But it does have its detractors.   In this response to The Munchkin Invasion appearing in the May 27/2013 issue of MacLean’s magazine, Charles Pascal, the author of Ontario’s blueprint for early learning, and researcher Janette Pelletier discuss the pitfalls of using disconnected research to draw broad policy conclusions.

Serving All Children to Catch the Most Vulnerable (html)
Healthcare Quarterly Vol. 15 Special Issue, 2012

Article by Kerry McCuaig: "The needs of modern families have changed; the services designed to support them have not. Children's programming in Canada is divided into three distinct streams – education, child care, and family and intervention supports.... The result is service silos. Children and families don't experience their lives in silos; their needs can't be dissected and addressed in isolation."

Trends in Early Education and Child Care (pdf)
July 2012

Report by Kerry McCuaig, Jane Bertrand and Stuart Shanker: "Over the last few decades the science of early development has witnessed explosive growth. New technologies confirm that infancy and early childhood are the first and most critical phases of human development. A child’s earliest experiences shape the structure of genes and the architecture of the developing brain. At the same time families have changed, becoming more diverse and are raising young children in circumstances that are significantly more complex, and for many, more stressful."

How Research in Early Learning Can Help Make a Decision on Election Day (pdf)
October 2011

Lots of studies show us that the early years are crucial for how we manage as adults. We have an election coming up tomorrow. We encourage you to think about research findings about our children’s development. Please cast your vote thinking about what matters for our children.

An Investigation of the Career Paths of Internationally Trained Early Childhood Educators Transitioning into Early Learning Programs (pdf)
August 2011

The current research initiative examines the pathway to employment in the field of early childhood education for internationally trained professionals. In particular, the study's aim is to investigate the experiences of internationally trained professionals in the ECE Bridging Program (first step in the accreditation process in Ontario for internationally trained educators). The study also explored the experiences of participants in applying for jobs prior to and after achieving their ECE equivalency. The second goal was to explore whether international education credentials had any impact on employability. .

The Cost-Benefits of Ontario's Early Learning Program
August 30, 2010

Robert Fairholm, a director of the Centre for Spatial Economics (CSE), brings his 20 years of experience in economic analysis, modeling and forecasting to quantify the benefits of new public spending on young children revealing some startling findings.

Symposium: Pedagogical Leadership: Lead From Where You Stand
February 1, 2010

The Atkinson Centre joined Ryerson University, George Brown College, and the Child Care Resource and Research Unit in sponsoring a Symposium on "Pedagogical Leadership: Lead From Where You Stand" to discuss the recommendations for staffing Ontario's new Early Learning Programs and Child and Family Centre.

Atkinson Centre Annual Reports

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Atkinson Chair's Research Digest

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Atkinson Letter

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Research Bulletins

  • Research Bulletin: Playing Favorites is Bad for Child Health (pdf)
    Excerpt: "In a study recently published in Social Sciences and Medicine, PhD student Dillon Browne and psychologist Jennifer Jenkins sought to determine if being a disfavored sibling can have negative consequences in terms of general health. Browne and Jenkins followed 501 families over a period of 18 months as part of an investigation called the Kids, Families, Places Study, led by Dr. Jenkins at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education..."
  • Research Bulletin: Playing Favorites is Bad for Everyone (pdf)
    Excerpt: "In a study recently published in the journal of Developmental Psychology, psychologist Jean-Christophe Meunier and his colleagues at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education tested to see if playing favorites, as a family style, has negative consequences for all children in the family, rather than just the disfavored child."
  • Research Bulletin: Siblings Teaching Siblings (pdf)
    Excerpt: "Research demonstrates that young children teach one another, showing individual differences in the amount of teaching they do and the strategies they use. There is a special teacher-learner relationship among siblings, in particular.... We developed a measure to capture teaching between siblings when the youngest child was age 3 and their older sibling between 4-8 years old..."
  • Research Bulletin: Genes, Experience and Parenting Behaviour (pdf)
    Excerpt: "In a recent study, Dr. Rossana Bisceglia and her colleagues wanted to see what factors affected mothers' ability to provide sensitive care to their children. The hypothesis was that both biological and environmental variables would impact mothers’ sensitivity, and that certain combinations of factors would be more detrimental to parenting than others."

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Peel Projects

Pelletier, J. (2014). Key findings from Year 3 of Full-Day Early Learning Kindergarten in Peel. Toronto: Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.

Pelletier, J. (2012). Key findings from Year 2 of Full-­Day Early Learning Kindergarten in Peel. Toronto: Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.

Pelletier, J. (2012). Key findings from Year 1 of Full-­Day Early Learning Kindergarten in Peel. Toronto: Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.

Pelletier, J. & Brent, J. (2002). Parent participation in children’ school readiness: The effects of parental self-efficacy, cultural diversity and teacher strategies. International Journal of Early Childhood, 34 (1), 45-60.

Pelletier, J. & Corter, C. (2005). Design, implementation and outcomes of a school readiness program for diverse families. The School Community Journal, 15, 89-116.

Pelletier, J., & Corter, C. (2005, April). Evaluation Methodology for Integrated School-Based Early Childhood Services. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Montreal.

Pelletier, J., & Corter, C. (2006). Integration, innovation, and evaluation in school-based early childhood services. In B. Spodek & O. Sarracho (Eds.), Handbook of research on the education of young children. (pp. 477–496). Matwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Zhang, J. & Pelletier, J. (August 17, 2006). Analysis of the short and long-term effects of a school readiness intervention program for parents and their kindergarten children. Paper presented at the International Conference on Speech, Writing and Context, Edmonton, Alberta.

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Toronto First Duty

Arimura, T. (2007). Daily routines, parenting hassles, and social support: The role that early childhood services play in parents' and children's daily life. Unpublished M.A.thesis, University of Toronto.

Corter, C., Janmohamed, Z., & Pelletier, J. (Eds.). (2012). Toronto First Duty Phase 3 Report. Toronto, ON: Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development, OISE/University of Toronto.

Corter, C., Patel, S., Pelletier, J. & Bertrand, J. (2008). The Early Development Instrument as an evaluation and improvement tool for school-based, integrated services for young children and parents: the Toronto First Duty Project. Early Education and Development. In press.

Corter, C., Bertrand, J., Pelletier, J., Griffin, T., McKay, D., Patel, S, Ioannone, P, with McQuaig, K. (2006). Toronto First Duty Phase 1 Summary Report: Evidence-based understanding of integrated foundations for early childhood.

Corter, C. (2006). Early Identification and Early Childhood Programs to Reduce Risk. Invited panel presentation to A National Dialogue on Students at Risk. Vancouver, B.C., 28 February.

Corter, C., & Pelletier, J. (2005). Parent and community involvement in schools: Policy panacea or pandemic? In N. Bascia, A. Cumming, A. Datnow, K. Leithwood & D. Livingstone (Eds.), International handbook of educational policy. (pp. 295-327). Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Springer.

Corter, C. (2004, November). Evaluating Integration: The case of Toronto First Duty. Invited presentation to Ontario Children's Summit, Toronto, Ontario.

Corter, C., Bertrand, J., Endler, M., Griffin, T., Pelletier, J., McKay, D. (2002). Toronto First Duty Starting Gate Report: Implementing Integrated Foundations for Early Childhood.

Ioannone, P., & Corter, C. (2005, April). Early Childhood Professionals' Experiences With Collaboration in Integrated Care and Education. Poster presentation at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Atlanta.

Janmohamed, Z., Pelletier, J., & Corter, C. (2011). Toronto First Duty, Phase 3: The BruceWoodgreen Case Study. Toronto, ON: Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development, OISE/University of Toronto.

Patel, S. & Corter, C. (2006). Parent-school involvement, diversity, and school-based preschool service hubs. Paper presented at the annual meetings of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, 9 April.

Patel, S., & Corter, C. (2005, April). Parents, Preschool Services, and Engagement with Schools. Poster presentation at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Atlanta.

Pelletier, J., & Corter, C. (2005). Toronto First Duty: Integrating Kindergarten, Childcare and Parenting Supports to help Diverse Families Connect to Schools. [Special Issue on Families and Multicultural Education.] The Multicultural Education Journal. 15 (1), 89-116.

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