Early Childhood Education in Canada

Authored by: Larry Prochner , Anna Kirova

Handbook of International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education

Print publication date:  March  2018
Online publication date:  February  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138673021
eBook ISBN: 9781315562193
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315562193-28

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Abstract

The value of early childhood education (ECE) is demonstrated by research and recognized by governments around the world as a key support for children’s development and well-being, a way to increase equity for children, families, and communities, and a means to promote economic development. The ECE discourse in Canada reflects these varied purposes, seen, for example, in the Association of Canadian Deans of Education’s (2013) Accord on Early Learning and Early Childhood Education, the Liberal Party of Canada’s (2015) promise to establish a national early learning and child care framework, and the Toronto-Dominion Bank’s report on ECE as an investment strategy (Alexander & Ignjatovic, 2012). This review takes a wide look at ECE, considering its history and current status in Canada. The focus is on formal pre-elementary programs and services with an intentional curriculum and trained educators in settings that include kindergarten, preschool, and child care. Following global trends, ECE programs are also referred to as early childhood education and care (ECEC) programs, early learning programs, or by the Canadian term (Friendly, 2007) early learning and child care (ELCC) programs.

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