The Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU) is a non-profit, non-partisan policy research institute with a mandate to work towards an equitable, high quality, publicly funded, inclusive early learning and child care (ELCC) system for all Canadians.
Our primary child care and family policy lens is firmly feminist, intersectional and equality seeking with reference both to women as child care users and women working in the child care workforce. CRRU has long been actively engaged in raising awareness that quality ELCC is essential to achieving multiple purposes, serving several main groups simultaneously – women, children, families, the broader society and the economy. First and foremost among child care’s purposes is women’s equality and economic security. We take the perspective that solid data, research, information, policy analysis and knowledge are important tools for raising awareness, advocating and developing public policy on child care as central to advancing women's equality, as well as meeting other goals.
CRRU works with other researchers, other women’s organizations, NGOs, social justice organizations, advocacy groups, labour unions, the child care community and government policy makers across multiple levels of government.
What we stand and work for
CRRU’s original, and continuing, mandate is to work to bring about a universal, publicly funded, high quality, inclusive and public/not-for-profit early learning and child care system in Canada. CRRU’s primary lens on early learning and child care is feminist and intersectional but our work spans ELCC’s multiple purposes and target groups, which are linked to one another.
What we do
- Collect, organize and disseminate relevant research, policy and practice focused on ELCC and related topics, both our own and others
- Communicate about research, policy and practice on ELCC, family policy (such as parental leave) and related social issues (such as gender and employment) through multiple mediums to other researchers, policy makers, feminist and social justice groups, the child care community, families and the public
- Engage in a variety of kinds of policy-related ELCC and social policy research
- Work with and support others – other researchers, other women’s organizations, governments, community groups and NGOs– with similar mandates and philosophies who are engaged in ELCC research, advocacy and policy development.
Among CRRU's key activities during the past 30 years have been the Early childhood education and care in Canada reports, developed and published by CRRU about every two years. This now- twelve report series is unique in a number of ways. As such, it has reliably served as Canada’s main source of consistently collected and presented, cross-Canada, longitudinal data and information about regulated child care, kindergarten and parental leave. The comprehensive and detailed ECEC in Canada reports are available on this page.
The CRRU team works across Turtle Island, in the land we now call Canada. Our office in downtown Toronto is located on the traditional land of the Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples, the Huron-Wendat and Petun First Nations, the Seneca, and most recently the Mississaugas of the Credit. This territory is covered by the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, a treaty between the Three Fires Confederacy, the Iroquois Confederacy and allied nations about sharing and caring for the resources around the Great Lakes. The Dish with One Spoon treaty is often interpreted to mean: take only what you need, keep the environment clean and leave some for the future.
With a mandate to work towards a universally accessible, publicly funded, inclusive early learning and child care system in Canada, CRRU believes this cannot be done without First Nations, Métis, and Inuit perspectives defining what this means for Indigenous children, families and communities. As a policy research organization with a feminist and intersectional lens, CRRU commits to continuously examining and acting upon its role and responsibility for working proactively with Indigenous stakeholders and addressing systemic barriers preventing Inuit, First Nations, and Métis communities from participating in early learning and care anchored in their knowledge and ways of living.
The Childcare Resource and Research Unit is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.