A guide for parents in Canada

Want to know more about quality?

Quality by Design
The Child Care Resource and Research Unit's Quality by Design Project was intended to promote and inform discussion, debate and knowledge about quality in early learning and child care (ELCC). It produced a number of documents including:

Quality in early learning and child care services: Papers from the European Commission Childcare Network
This publication consists of three papers that were produced in the 1990s as part of the work of the European Commission's Childcare Network. Within the context of the Childcare Network's decade long work on child care, these papers were developed within the specific task given to the Network of "establish[ing] criteria for the definition of quality in childcare services." (European Commission Childcare Network, Reprinted with permission by the Childcare Resource and Research Unit, Oct 2014)

Quality ECEC for all. Why we can't afford not to invest in it.
This article makes the argument that the substantial evidence for the benefits of early childhood education for economic, educational and social reasons pertain only if it is high quality. It goes on to discuss five criteria of high quality for all: availability, affordability, accessibility, usefulness and comprehensibility. (Vandenbroeck, Michel. Our Schools/Ourselves. Erika Shaker (ed). Special issue, Summer, 2015, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives)

Developing and supporting a high quality workforce in Canada: What are the barrier to change? 
This article makes the case that Government inaction in the area of child care human resources is inconsistent with stated objectives for high quality early childhood education and child care. It focuses on three contributing barriers to action: 1) a child care market model; 2) the devaluation of caring work and; 3) increasing professional expectations without sufficient workforce advocacy. These three factors are linked by the gendered nature of the child care workforce, which is predominately female. Addressing these three contributing factors is, therefore, a matter of gender justice. (Halfon, Shani & Langford, Rachel. Our Schools/Ourselves. Erika Shaker (ed). Special issue, Summer, 2015, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives)

From child care market to child care system.
This article explains what if means to say that Canadian child care follows a market model and goes on to describe how the market model affects every aspect of child care including quality. It concludes with an analysis of how moving to a child care system away from a market would be consistent with a vision of high quality child care for all. (Beach, Jane & Ferns, Carolyn. Our Schools/Ourselves. Erika Shaker (ed). Special issue, Summer, 2015, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives)

Quality matters in early childhood education and care: Sweden
This report is from the Quality Matters in ECEC: Country Policy Profiles project. This profile features Sweden and examines Policy lever 2 - Designing and implementing curriculum and standards. (Taguma, Miho; Litjens, Ineke & Makowiecki, Kelly, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 1 Mar 2013)

The quality gap: A study of nonprofit and commercial child care centres in Canada
This report from the University of Toronto finds that non-profit child care centres outscore their commercial counterparts in all aspects of early learning and care quality. (Cleveland, Gordon & Krashinsky, Michael, University of Toronto, 10 Jan 2005)

Background paper on unregulated child care for the Home child care: More than a home project
This paper offers an overview of the current landscape of unregulated child care in Ontario and other Canadian jurisdictions, identifying important issues in home child care through a review of the research literature, and summarizing key recommendations that have emerged from the academic and policy literature. (Ferns, Carolyn & Friendly, Martha, Childcare Resource and Research Unit, 24 Jun 2015)

BRIEFing Note: What research says about quality in for-profit, non-profit and public child care
BRIEFing Note from CRRU reviews the literature on quality in for-profit, non-profit and public child care. (Childcare Resource and Research Unit, 16 Nov 2011)