children playing

How are Ontarians really doing? A provincial report on Ontario wellbeing

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version
Canadian Index of Wellbeing
Publication Date: 
29 Apr 2014

About this report:

How are Ontarians Really doing? is the first provincial report to draw on the research used for the CIW's national index. Spanning the turbulent period from 1994 to 2010, it tells the story of Ontario's successes and challenges in each of the domains of wellbeing and makes comparisons to the rest of the country. It provides insights based on trends over that 17-year period and offers innovative policy options to build on strengths and address areas of concern.

Excerpt from the report, sec. 5, "A call to action: People and policy for positive change" (pg. 50):

Adopt early childhood education and greater access to childcare

Considerable research shows that a solid start in life through early childhood education increases a child's school readiness and leads to better academic success, higher living standards, and ultimately, better health across all social and economic groups.30 Providing a level playing field in the formative years of children born into poverty is a key to addressing existing and future inequality. Finally, access to early childhood education and to adequate childcare supports gender equity by offering women more equal opportunities to pursue full-time work, thereby actively building on their human capital and full engagement in the workforce. Ultimately, these actions lead to a wide array of individual, family, and societal benefits.

Building on the existing strength of Ontario and Canada's Education domain with comprehensive, coordinated early childhood education, adequate childcare, and family support policies can further help address one of the provinces key challenges - income inequality. To achieve this, a number of options should be explored:

  • Adopt a Federal-Provincial-Territorial programme of early childhood education (ECE)
  • Expand the number of regulated, centre-based childcare spaces to better reflect and address the needs of families with young children, most of which have two employed parents
  • Extend affordable and accessible childcare to university and college students with young children