Occasional paper series

Occasional paper series

Canadian early learning and child care and the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Martha Friendly
Occasional paper 22
June 2006


This paper's starting place is with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child's assumption that child care is a right and that governments have a responsibility in ensuring that this right is achieved. The paper reviews the Canadian political and social context for child care, putting this in a historical context; reviews the current child care situation; discusses the Articles of the Convention that pertain to
early learning and child care; and concludes that Canada has not yet taken the issue of children's right to early learning and child care seriously.

For-profit child care: Past, present and future

Susan Prentice
Occasional paper 21 [EN & FR]
October 2005


After many years of relative political inattention in Canada, the federal government has committed to developing a national early learning and child care program. In 2005, the first beginnings of the national program were laid down through a $5 billion/five year initiative consisting of bilateral agreements with provinces and territories.

Child care by default or design? An exploration of differences between non-profit and for-profit Canadian child care centres using the You Bet I Care! data sets

Gillian Doherty, Martha Friendly and Barry Forer
Occasional paper 18
August 2002


The issue of auspice in child care has been debated in Canada for many years and for several reasons. One reason for this is the consistent research finding that commercial child care centres as a group obtain lower ratings for overall program quality than do non-profit centres. Other reasons include the belief that essential services such as child care should be publicly operated, and concerns about ensuring accountability for the use of public funds if they are flowed to commercial operators. This study explores the issue of auspice from the perspective of program quality.

Reforming Québec's early childhood care and education: The first five years

Jocelyne Tougas
Occasional paper 17 [EN & FR]
April 2002


In 1997, the Québec government announced its new family policy. The government undertook a massive reorganization of the child care system and transformed it into the early childhood care and education component of the new family policy. The reform was indeed substantial and ambitious and was undertaken at a time when, as in other provinces, the government was trying to reduce its budgetary deficit to zero. As the reform enters its fifth year, the author reviews the first five years and examines the successes, challenges and lessons learned.