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Articles on Early childhood education

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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.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, plays with children in an early learning and child care centre in Brampton, Ont., March 28, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Canada’s child-care investment needs to advance climate change policy goals

Where new early learning and child-care programs are located, how they are designed, built and resourced, and what they teach can either add to the problem of climate change or help mitigate it.
Ongoing monitoring of students in early grades will be important to identify how missing out on in-person classes has affected students. (Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for EDUimages)

From full-day learning to 30 minutes daily: The effects of school closures on kindergarteners

The lack of a fully interactive environment in kindergarten due to pandemic school closures may negatively impact some children’s learning in later grades.
Child-care policy needs to be designed to ensure children have stable access to high-quality care. (Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for EDUimages)

Low-income families should not lose child-care subsidies while on parental leave

Stable child care can protect kids in the face of major life stressors — so should subsidy policies.
Ontario’s child care policy now creates a universal, flat-fee child care for medium and high-income families but doesn’t guarantee subsidies to low-income families. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Ontario’s child-care agreement is poised to fail low-income children and families

Ontario’s flat fee for child care should be replaced by an income-tested fee reflecting family incomes.
Kindergarten teachers were tasked with adapting a hands-on, play-based curricula in a virtual environment – a nearly impossible task even without parenting one’s own children at the same time. (Shutterstock)

Kindergarten educators with children at home struggled during the pandemic — mental health supports are needed

Kindergarten educators who taught from home during COVID-19 and who were primarily responsible for their own children self-reported poorer mental health than those without these responsibilities.
One project with the Art Gallery of Western Australia, researchers and children saw children respond to a painting by Wangkatjunga/Walmajarri artist Ngarralja Tommy May. (Mindy Blaise and Jo Pollitt)

How early childhood education is responding to climate change

Researchers and educators with the Climate Action Childhood network are generating responses to climate change alongside young children.
Almost as many trained early childhood educators work outside licensed child care as in it. Many say they would return to the field if offered decent work. (Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for EDUimages)

Children across Canada deserve a professional early childhood education workforce

Staff recruitment and retention challenges aren’t seen in public child-care centres, where educators are paid substantially more, are unionized and have professional development opportunities.
Ontario is creating far below the 200,000 to 300,000 early learning and care spaces needed to address the demand that will arise as parent fees decline. (Benson Low/Unsplash)

What Ontario parents really need to know about the new early learning and child care agreement

Among provinces, Ontario is the least generous supporter of its childhood educator workforce. Parents pay the price in available child-care spaces if a staffing recruitment crisis does not improve.
Finding a good path towards publicly funded early learning and care will require input from all stakeholders, including current providers and early childhood educators. (Shutterstock)

Nova Scotia’s shift to publicly funded early learning and child care won’t be easy, but it’s critical

The new learning and child care agreement requires a paradigm shift as we begin to consider early learning and child care as a public service.
Whatever costume you wear, put on your ‘sorting hat’ after trick-or-treating to help children lay the foundation for higher-level mathematics. (Shutterstock)

5 ways sorting Halloween candy can help children develop mathematics skills

Early exposure to everyday math at home predicts children’s school mathematics outcomes.
Shutterstock

Early childhood educators feel burnt out and undervalued. Here’s what we can do to help

The pandemic highlighted Australia’s reliance on early childhood educators, while adding to their existing stresses. A study of how educators fared identifies three key factors in their well-being.

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