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Occasional paper series

The OECD and the reconciliation agenda: Competing blueprints

Rianne Mahon
Occasional paper 20
July 2005

Across advanced capitalist countries, welfare state restructuring has come to include a "farewell to maternalism" - i.e. to the political support for mothers' fulltime domestic caregiving role (Orloff, 2004). For some, the "farewell" is identified with the withdrawal of support for mother-caregivers, especially in the form of the shift from "welfare to workfare" for lone parents. Yet it also involves the prescription of measures to reconcile work and family life.

‘Choice’ discourse in BC child care: Distancing policy from research

Paul Kershaw
Occasional paper 19
September 2004

The gap between child care research and policy is growing in British Columbia (BC). While policy changes are what one would expect from the right-of-centre Liberal government, the gap runs contrary to its expressed commitment to the design of early childhood development policy on the basis of ‘science.' The BC child care domain thus provides a rich context in which to examine how ideology mediates the consumption of research in the political arena.

Child care by default or design? An exploration of differences between non-profit and for-profit Canadian child care centres using the You Bet I Care! data sets

Gillian Doherty, Martha Friendly & Barry Forer
Occasional paper 18
August 2002

The issue of auspice in child care has been debated in Canada for many years and for several reasons. One reason for this is the consistent research finding that commercial child care centres as a group obtain lower ratings for overall program quality than do non-profit centres. Other reasons include the belief that essential services such as child care should be publicly operated, and concerns about ensuring accountability for the use of public funds if they are flowed to commercial operators. This study explores the issue of auspice from the perspective of program quality.

Reforming Québec's early childhood care and education: The first five years

Jocelyne Tougas
Occasional paper 17 [EN & FR]
April 2002


In 1997, the Québec government announced its new family policy. The government undertook a massive reorganization of the child care system and transformed it into the early childhood care and education component of the new family policy. The reform was indeed substantial and ambitious and was undertaken at a time when, as in other provinces, the government was trying to reduce its budgetary deficit to zero. As the reform enters its fifth year, the author reviews the first five years and examines the successes, challenges and lessons learned.

An integrated approach to early childhood education and care: A preliminary study

Lenira Haddad
Occasional paper 16
January 2002

Lenira Haddad of Brazil reflects on the policy development and implementation of integrated early childhood education and care services (ECEC) within a systemic perspective. Using the broad, holistic and coherent framework of ECEC conceptualized by the OECD 12 country thematic review of ECEC, she proposes a "third model". This new paradigm shifts ECEC from an exclusive family responsibility to a partnership between the state and family.

Targeting early childhood care and education: Myths and realities

Gillian Doherty
Occasional paper 15
August 2001

This paper reviews two bodies of research. The first pertains to identification of threats to children's optimal development and the second examines the effectiveness of different types of targeted programs intended to enhance the development of at-risk children. Many variables that put children at risk for developmental problems occur in both lone- and two-parent families and across all income levels. The current practice of restricting programs for at-risk children to specific neighbourhoods inevitably means the exclusion of many at-risk children.

Women, citizenship and Canadian child care policy in the 1990s

Vappu Tyyskä, PhD
Occasional paper 13
March 2001

Developments in Canadian child day care policy in the 1990s at the federal, provincial (Ontario) and municipal (Toronto and Peel) levels highlight the problems associated with the male model of citizenship. The political climate poses a particular threat to the social citizenship rights of women and members of lower socio-economic groups. Likewise, political citizenship is negatively affected, as most women's and advocacy organizations are dismissed by governments as "special interest groups".

More than the sum of the parts: An early childhood development system for Canada

Jane Beach and Jane Bertrand
Occasional paper 12
October 2000

At the end of the twentieth century, early childhood education, child care and family support services are unevenly scattered across the Canadian early childhood landscape. Does this makes sense? Could there be one integrated approach to children's programs within a coherent policy framework? Should there be? This paper takes the position that a blended, coherent system of early child development programs incorporating child care, early childhood education and family support services should be available in every community.

Child care and Canadian federalism in the 1990s: Canary in a coal mine

Martha Friendly
Occasional paper 11
August 2000

This paper examines the federal/ provincial jurisdictional obstacles to a national child care strategy that arose in the 1990s, and whether the obstacles can be overcome. After examining the three failed attempts to secure a national child care strategy in the decade between 1984 and 1995, it analyses child care within the concept of the "social union" that began to be debated as the federal role in social programs waned in the 1990s.

How should we care for babies and toddlers? An analysis of practice in out-of-home care for children under three

Helen Penn
Occasional paper 10
June 1999

This publication makes an important contribution to the understanding of our values and beliefs in caring for our young children. By taking a broad perspective and including historical, psychological and cultural evidence about early childhood, this paper reveals that how we care for infants and toddlers is open to many interpretations, as reflected by the diversity of existing practices. Penn forces us to examine alternative values and practices in caring for infants and toddlers, and to look beyond our own conventional paradigms and understandings.

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