The CRRU team

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version
graphic of CRRU logo and kids running

The Childcare Resource and Research Unit has been developed and staffed by individuals with diverse backgrounds including early childhood education, psychology, library sciences, political science, women’s studies, sociology, labour unions and the arts.

The CRRU staff currently includes an executive director, three staff and a part-time website developer. We also host students from several post-secondary institutions for placements and internships. Together, this group of individuals provides public education and policy analysis, consults on child care policy and research, produces papers and other resources and provides extensive online resources and research through the website.

CRRU staff can be contacted using the contact form or through individual emails.

CRRU staff

Martha Friendly

Executive Director

Martha Friendly is the executive director and founder of the Childcare Resource and Research Unit. As a policy researcher, Martha is an active participant in the Canada-wide child care movement. She has been advocating for a universal public system of high quality child care since the 1970s and writes and speaks extensively about ELCC policy. Much of her work can be found by searching the Online Documents Catalogue. See About Martha Friendly for more information.

Martha can be contacted by email at

Jade Lillace (she/her)

Research Officer

Jade is a dedicated Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE) with 12 years of experience in the early learning sector in Alberta and Ontario. In addition to an Honours Bachelor of Humanities from Carleton University and an Early Childhood Education diploma from Algonquin College, Jade holds a Master of Arts in Early Childhood Studies from Toronto Metropolitan University. With experience in public and private child care, full day kindergarten, and early intervention services, Jade bridges professional practice and early childhood policy. As an RECE and a white settler on Indigenous land, Jade seeks to disrupt colonial inheritances, and to transform the sector with anti-colonial and anti-oppressive knowledges. She advocates for competitive compensation and better working conditions for educators, because addressing the workforce crisis is an essential step towards universal, equitable early learning and child care for all. 

Connect with Jade on LinkedIn or via email at

Gayaththiri Aruran (she/her)

Research Officer

Gayaththiri is a creative and passionate Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE) with over 6 years of experience working with children ranging in age in multiple child care settings in Ontario. She holds a Master of Arts in Early Childhood Studies from Toronto Metropolitan University, Honours Bachelor of Early Childhood Leadership and Project Management certification from Sheridan College. Her contributions to the early childhood education sector include advocacy, research and policy analysis work. 

Connect with Gayaththiri on LinkedIn or via email at

Alexie Cossette (she/her) 

Research Officer

Alexie is a dedicated researcher and advocate for children in Canada. She has worked in child care centres in Ontario and Alberta, and supported research and program evaluation related to early childhood education and care. Most recently, Alexie worked at Toronto Metropolitan School of Early Childhood Studies and on UNICEF Canada’s Domestic Advocacy Team. She is particularly interested in children’s rights-based approaches and children’s rights in the early years. Alexie has a B.A., Hons in Political Studies from Queen’s University, and an MSc in Children’s Rights from Queen’s University Belfast.

Connect with Alexie via email at

Laura Feltham (they/them)

Social Research Assistant

Laura is an experienced researcher and project coordinator. They have conducted research in the early years, child care, disability studies, dance education, and gender studies. Their research interests include critical disability studies, child care, parental leave, and gender and sexuality, focused on 2SLGBTQIA+ youth. Laura was raised in Northern Ontario and remains connected to the community. Laura has a BSc specializing in psychology from the University of Ottawa and an MA in Early Childhood Studies from Toronto Metropolitan University.

Connect with Laura via email at

Billie Carroll

Web Developer

Billie is responsible for design and development of the CRRU websites. She acts as a consultant to CRRU in effectively using the web, supports CRRU staff in creating web content, and designs related print materials. She has been helping non-profit organizations with their web presence since 1997. Billie lives and works in Roberts Creek, BC. Contact Billie


Placement students/ Interns

The CRRU believes that mentorship in the ECEC sector is incredibly important and strives to create opportunities for mentorship and student experience. The CRRU hosts student placements/ internships from a number of academic institutions, organizations and community partners. Students and interns at the CRRU are an integral part of the organization and contribute to the work at the CRRU. If you’re interested in a placement or internship, please get in touch with us via email