children playing

Family is the foundation: Why family support and early childhood education must be a collaborative effort

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version
FRP Canada
Publication Date: 
1 Mar 2011

Excerpts from the executive summary:

Canadians are currently witnessing a significant change in the delivery of services for parents and their young children. In many jurisdictions, programs that relate to the care and well-being of young children are moving toward an educational model. Current policy has designated educational systems as the main producers of the skills required by the modern economy.

This paper summarizes FRP Canada's response to the reorganization of early childhood services. It emphasizes the need to complement school-based programs with a broad spectrum of community based supports for families and young children and makes recommendations for collaborative solutions to ensure that all children in Canada have a fair chance for health and happiness in a prosperous economy.


Since the foundation that supports children's lifelong learning is established very early, services and programs for families during the period from conception to school entry are vitally important. Child outcomes will be enhanced if all families have access to an adequate array of supports during this critical time. A comprehensive, multi-faceted policy that benefits from the expertise of community based organizations and service providers is critically important if children in Canada are to receive the best possible start.


Policy recommendations:

  • Acknowledge the primary influence of the family
  • Build an integrated system through partnerships
  • Retain and expand family support programs in the community