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Articles on Early childhood education

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‘Back to basics’ language used by the government distracts from the importance of continuously updating and revising curriculum. (Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for EDUimages)

Changes are coming to Ontario’s kindergarten program — what parents and caregivers need to know

We need to ensure the best scientific research in play-based learning and early reading is leveraged, and teachers receive supports to meet children’s developmental and academic needs.
Using concrete tools or objects matters for fostering mathematical development – but how can children best learn to count by 10? (Shutterstock)

How counting by 10 helps children learn about the meaning of numbers

Findings of a study suggest using a ‘hundreds chart’ showing numbers one through 100, beginning with one in the top-left corner, fosters children’s counting by 10s.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford visits a child-care centre in Brampton, Ont., on March 28, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Ontario needs to remove barriers to child-care subsidies for low-income families

For vulnerable and marginalized groups, access to early learning and child care remains uncertain. Inclusive access must become a top priority to achieve affordable care for all families.
When four- and five-year-old children are provided with a full day of schooling, space is freed in child-care centres that is instantly filled by younger children. (Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for EDUimages)

Children’s early learning belongs in neighbourhood schools

Access to schooling for four-year-olds is inconsistent across Canada. Families need to know children are immersed in high-quality early learning, and they shouldn’t be exhausted searching for it.
As toddlers form peer relationships, social pretend play and games increase. (Shutterstock)

Toddlers can engage in complex games as they get to know each other over time

A unique dataset from 32 children on 36 different play dates provided the opportunity to study how young children develop peer relationships, and how consistent they are with different children.
When we walk together in a good way, we learn to see the world from multiple perspectives. (Walking Together/Emily Kewageshig/Annick Press)

How Two-Eyed Seeing, ‘Etuaptmumk,’ is changing outdoor play in early childhood education

‘Etuaptmumk’ or Two-Eyed Seeing is the gift of multiple perspectives in the Mi’kmaw language. A key practice of this in an early childhood outdoor program is walking together and sharing stories.
Early play-based learning helps children develop skills and knowledge before elementary school, and provides an essential foundation for learning in later years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg

Newly linked data can reveal academic development from kindergarten to high school in 150,000 students

A study following Ontario students between 2004 and 2012 can help policymakers ensure all students get the supports they need when they need them.
Investing in non-profit programs that provide culturally-relevant education is important to children and families.

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

Early childhood education isn’t about warehousing children so adults can go to work. There is an ethical imperative to support a paradigm shift in how our society values educating young children.
Locating early learning programs in schools provides stable programming infrastructure and allows for potential collaborations between early childhood educators and teachers. (Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for EDUimages)

What to look for in a high-qualitypre-primary’ or junior kindergarten program

People, policies, practice and place all matter in publicly funded, school-based children’s early learning programs.
It is not just the number of words that children hear that is important — the quality of the language children hear also matters. (Shutterstock)

How caregivers can help build children’s emerging language skills

Given the clear importance of language skills for lifelong outcomes, it is critical to set children up early for language success.
Canada is preventing provinces and territories from using federal child-care dollars to transform schools into one-stop centres for young children. (Pexels/Yan Krukov)

Why doesn’t Canada let schools provide child care?

Canada has much to learn from other countries about better ways of providing learning and care for children.

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