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‘Child care’ or education? Words matter in how we envision living well with children

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Land, N. & Kummen, K.
Publication Date: 
9 Feb 2023


As people across Canada begin to understand the implications of the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care program, public conversations often centre on the economic benefits of getting children back into quality child care, and their parents or guardians back into a robust Canadian economy.

In this narrative, early childhood education matters primarily as a driver of economic growth.

This nurtures a belief that children and their learning should be conceptualized as a primarily economic issue: We need child care, the logic goes, so that women can work or children can learn the skills they need to contribute to the future market economy.

We are part of a collective of educators and scholars, the Early Childhood Pedagogies Collaboratory, invested in thinking about early childhood education otherwise. We ask: What narratives or stories are going unnoticed in the face of the universal child care plan in Canada?


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