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					                                                  Bulletin
                                    BULLETIN OF THE CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT                               VOLUME 3, No. 1 - MARCH 2004




                        THE
                    CHILD CARE
                           PUZZLE
by Richard E. Tremblay, CEECD Director


When Marie and Henri had their first child, they were
both leading very active lives. So they decided to hire
someone to take care of their son, and were fortunate
to find an educated widow who had raised three
children of her own. Although their son, Louis, was
prone to temper tantrums, he managed to become
a successful king, and to have a son, Louis Jr.,
who became the great Louis XIV.




M
         ost 21st-century parents lead                   and finding “the best” is still not an exact        tions in this issue. There is a wide consen-
         busy lives and need help to take                science. Louis’ tutor, Madame Montglat, was         sus that early childhood development is
         care of their children, especially              convinced that whipping was the best way            the foundation for the later years. James
before they start school full-time. A good               to educate a future king bent on temper             Heckman, winner of the Nobel Prize in eco-
education helps everyone, not just royalty,              tantrums.                                           nomics, even suggests that we should pay
to be successful in life. Wealthy parents can               For those with limited resources, the            more for preschool education than univer-
always hire the best tutors, but defining                choices are obviously much more difficult.          sity education. However, experts often dis-
                                                         The best solution for parents is not neces-         agree on what should be done with young
                                                         sarily the best solution for the child. How         children, where, when and by whom.
                                                         much do we know about quality early edu-            Clearly, we are just starting to take the early
                                                         cation? Should one or both parents sacrifice        childhood years seriously, and there is not
                     contents s                          their career to stay home with their child-
                                                         ren? For how long and when? 1 Should
                                                                                                             enough reliable information to provide de-
                                                                                                             finitive answers.
                                                         someone be hired to stay home with the                  The pressure to find better informa-
 Child Care Quality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2      children? At what age is this an appropriate        tion has increased because most parents
                                                         solution? What makes a good daycare cen-            have become consumers, rather than
                                                         tre? How many hours per day should child-           providers, of early education services.
 Conference May 2004. . . . . . . . . . . . 3
                                                         ren spend in a daycare centre? Does the             They want “the best” for their child, and
                                                         type of children they interact with matter?         they want answers to their questions. To
 New Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
                                                         What is the best training for educators of          get answers, we need to substantially
                                                         young children? Is early education really           step up the pace of research. This will
 Fraser Mustard and
                                                         that important? If so, how much should we           only happen if more resources are found
 James Heckman Comments. . . . . . 6                     pay for early education? How long does it           for early childhood education along with
                                                         take for a country to develop a universal           more rigorous evaluation of practices.
 Conference June 2005 . . . . . . . . . . . 7            high-quality early education system?                1 The doctor who attended the young Louis XIII
                                                            Although we managed to get input                 counted the number of days his parents were with him
 Voices from the Field . . . . . . . . . . . . 7         from international experts, you will not find       between the ages of one and eight: 573 for Marie and
                                                         definitive answers to most of these ques-           606 for Henri.

VOLUME 3, No. 1-MARCH 2004                                                        BULLETIN OF THE CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT - PAGE 1
CHILD CARE QUALITY

                                                      THE
                                                          BEST
                                                     FOR YOUNG
by Liz Warwick
                                                       CHILDREN
        On a typical workday in Canada,                  To date, the study has found both bene-       ships with their parents depends on the par-
    thousands of children under the age              fits and risks associated with child care.        ents’ ability to provide sensitive care at
 of five will spend anywhere from a few              Children receiving high-quality care show         home.” They add that parents should strive
         hours to a full day in the care of          better thinking and language skills at ages       to provide as much ‘intimate interaction’
           someone other than a parent.              two through five. However, the study also         with their children as possible. Despite
        Yet families often question these            found that children who averaged more             hours spent in child care, parents matter
  arrangements, asking if such care will             time in non-maternal care across their first      and will continue to have an enormous im-
     harm the child, what kind of care is            54 months of life, regardless of the quality      pact on their children. Indeed, the NICHD
        best (a relative, a family daycare,          or type, may have a less harmonious rela-         study specified that even though more
        a centre) and if they should limit           tionship with their mother and show some-         time in child care (and especially in centres)
       the number of hours spent there.              what higher levels of problem behaviour           forecast more problem behaviour, having a
                                                     and aggression as reported by teachers,           more sensitive mother predicted less prob-
                                                     parents and caregivers.The authors do note        lem behaviour.
                                                     that overall mothers, caregivers, and teach-          “Recent research has revealed enduring
                                                     ers rated the sample well within the normal       and positive effects of high-quality child care,
                                                     range on all standard measures of problem         even on school performance,” note Ahnert
                                                     behaviour and aggression. Nevertheless, a         and Lamb, as well as many other research-


S
       cientists are making great efforts to         modest correlation was identified indicat-        ers who emphasize the need for top-notch
       answer their questions. The work is           ing a linear relation between more time in        child care programs. Although more re-
       complicated. As Professor Margaret            care and poorer socioemotional adjust-            search is needed, studies seem to indicate
Tresch Owen notes: “Understanding the ef-            ment.                                             that high-quality care may have an even
fects of early child care requires addressing an         “However, whether the benefits and risks      greater positive impact on children from
array of features of the care experience – the       continue over the lifetime of the children has    disadvantaged families. While researchers
amount of child care, the type of child care,        yet to be established,” notes Swedish re-         have yet to define exactly what ‘high-quali-
the quality of the care, the age when care was       searcher Bengt-Erik Andersson. “Some ef-          ty care’ is, many would agree with Professor
initiated and changes in the care and the            fects may show up only after many years.          Ellen Peisner-Feinberg, who states: “It is as-
caregivers.” Parents also need to remember           They are usually called sleeper effects and       sociated with well trained and educated staff,
that it is impossible for scientists to deter-       may be positive or negative.” In his research     high staff-child ratios, low staff turnover rates,
mine the impact of child care on a particu-          into the very high-quality Swedish system,        good wages and effective leadership.” Stud-
lar child from a particular family.                  Andersson has found that even experience          ies show that quality of care is not limited
                                                     in child care centres in the first year of life   to specific kinds of programs (child care
MOVING BEYOND THE SIMPLE                             had a positive impact on social develop-          centres, for example). Researcher Carollee
QUESTIONS                                            ment that showed up once children reach-          Howes notes: “Children can experience high-
   In the United States, the National Insti-         ed the teen years.                                quality daycare in a variety of settings. What
tute of Child Health and Human Develop-                                                                matters most is that the care provides nur-
ment (NICHD) has started one of the largest          QUALITY IS PARAMOUNT                              turing relationships and stimulating environ-
studies of child care. “It will allow scientists        If, as Belsky notes, there are some mod-       ments that organize and scaffold children’s
to move beyond the all too simple issue of           erate risks associated with long hours in         learning.”
whether early child care is good or bad for          child care, at least some of the negatives            Unfortunately, when scientists have
children and illuminate the conditions under         can be offset by sensitive care from parents      evaluated child care programs in the
which child care enhances and/or under-              and a high-quality child care program itself.     United States, Canada and most recently
mines different aspects of development,” says        Researchers Lieselotte Ahnert and Michael         Quebec, they have found that most pro-
Professor Jay Belsky, one of the study’s re-         Lamb point out: “Whether or not children in       grams provide only good-to-mediocre care,
searchers.                                           care develop and maintain good relation-          with a disturbing minority providing care
PAGE 2 - BULLETIN OF THE CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT                                                  VOLUME 3, No. 1-MARCH 2004
                                                                                                                                                       CHILD CARE QUALITY




                                                                                                                                                      CONFERENCE

                                                                                                                                                      BUILDING A
                                                                                                                                                      COMPREHENSIVE
                                              “Recent research has revealed                                                                           EARLY CHILDHOOD
                                               enduring and positive effects                                                                          DEVELOPMENT
                                                  of high-quality child care,
                                               even on school performance”                                                                            SYSTEM
                                                                                                                                                      MAY 25, 2004,
                                                                                                                                                      QUEBEC CITY

                                             that is downright inadequate. Researcher          educational services to low-income pre-                This conference, organized by the
                                             Kathleen McCartney suggests new policies          school children and their families. While              Centre of Excellence for Early
                                             are needed.“Governments must be willing to        child care helps working parents, these                Childhood Development, in
                                             invest in the early education and care of         Head Start programs would focus on help-               collaboration with the Society for
                                             young children. Cost-benefit analyses suggest     ing disadvantaged children develop in op-              Prevention Research, is intended for
                                             that these investments will result in better      timal ways and give them a better start in             policy and service planners, and child
                                             school performance.” Other researchers sug-       life. “Intervening early makes sense,” says            development researchers. It will offer
                                             gest that new family-leave /family-support        Merrigan. “As an economist, I know that gov-           an opportunity to hear from experts
                                             programs are needed to ensure that par-           ernments can’t increase spending every-                such as Fraser Mustard, David Dodge,
                                             ents who wish to stay home with a child in        where,” he adds. Targeting the very early              Sheila Kamerman, Philip Merrigan
                                             the early years can do so.                        years, particularly for disadvantaged child-           and John Godfrey on the biological,
                                                                                               ren, has proven to be most effective in pre-           psychological and economic
                                             GETTING GOVERNMENTS INVOLVED                      venting a host of problems, from school                importance of Early Childhood
                                                To ensure that all children receive excel-     failure to social maladjustment. As the years          Development. International
                                             lent care and the best possible start in life,    between birth and five have a huge impact              examples of comprehensive Early
                                             UQAM professor Philip Merrigan urges the          on children’s development, researchers                 Childhood Development initiatives
                                             Canadian government to revise its current         have rightly examined the issue of child               will be presented. The conference
                                             family policies, including child care services.   care, which has become the norm for many               will also allow discussions on the
PHOTO : COURTESY OF CCCF / HOLLY HANDFIELD




                                             This is particularly urgent when it comes to      kids.                                                  best ways to implement
                                             helping poor children, he says, pointing out          There is still much work to be done be-            comprehensive ECD systems in
                                             that children from the most disadvantaged         fore we fully understand the complex in-               Canada.
                                             families rarely use child care services. “We      teraction between children, parents and
                                             need other services and programs to reach         outside caregivers. In the meantime, how-              For more information:
                                             these children.”                                  ever, studies consistently point to the need           Amanda Mayer,
                                                One way would be to create programs            for quality. To give our children the best             (514) 343-6111, ext. 2566,
                                             modelled after Head Start, an American            start demands that we offer the best serv-             mayera@courrier.umontreal.ca
                                             program providing intensive social and            ices possible to all Canadian kids.
                                             VOLUME 3, No. 1-MARCH 2004                                               BULLETIN OF THE CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT - PAGE 3
NEW RESEARCH

                                                                       THE
                                                            DILEMMA
                                                             OF
                                                              BALANCE
                                                     quality on the language, cognitive and so-
                                                     cial skills of 733 four-to-eight-year-old
                                                     children from preschool to second grade at
                                                     160 centres in four U.S. states. About half of
                                                     the children were boys, and about one-
                                                     third came from diverse ethnic groups.           TIME SPENT IN CHILD CARE
                                                        The quality of child care has a definite          As women’s role in society changed, a
                                                     impact on child development through the          revolution occurred in childrearing practices.
                                                     early school years, the researchers found.       In 1967, one out of every six mothers with
by Heather Pengelley                                 Children in better-quality child care were       preschool children was in the labour force in
                                                     more advanced in their development from          Canada. By the year 2000, the proportion
                                                     preschool through kindergarten, and even         had risen to more than four out of six moth-
CHILD CARE QUALITY                                   into second grade for several aspects of de-     ers with children under the age of six.
   Does the quality of child care make a dif-        velopment.                                           Today, outside-the-home care is a rou-
ference in how your child performs during               When preschool children had a better          tine experience for most families in Canada.
the early school years? You bet, says a team         classroom environment and a more sensi-          Many children spend over 30 hours per
of U.S. researchers. In a five-year study of         tive and responsive teacher with a child-        week in child care. How does this early, ex-
four-to-eight-year olds, they found that             centered learning approach, they developed       tensive and continuous care affect child de-
children who had better-quality preschool            better language and math skills over time.       velopment?
experiences had more advanced language,              Children with closer teacher-child relation-         While child care quality appears to have
cognitive and social skills up to second             ships in preschool also had better language      a positive impact on children’s social com-
grade. Better-quality child care had an even         and math skills through second grade.            petence and behaviour, more time in child
stronger positive influence on children              These children were more sociable and at-        care may mean more problem behaviour in
from less advantaged backgrounds.                    tentive and had better thinking skills and       kindergarten, including assertiveness, dis-
   More than half of three-to-five-year-old          fewer behavioural problems from pre-             obedience and aggressiveness, says the U.S.
children in the United States attend child           school through early elementary school.          National Institute of Child Health and Hu-
care centres. This group represents about               Child care quality had the strongest ef-      man Development (NICHD) Early Child Care
75% of preschool children in out-of-home             fect on children with less educated moth-        Research Network. In a recent NICHD
care. Outside of family, daycare is likely to        ers. When in a higher-quality daycare            study,2 mothers, teachers and caregivers
be the most common environment in                    environment, these children showed the           reported that children who spent more
which these children spend time, yet few             greatest benefit in math skills over time.       time in child care were less well adjusted
studies have examined the long-term im-              Those who had a closer teacher-child rela-       than their peers. They acted out more often
pact of child care quality on their develop-         tionship developed fewer behavioural             in kindergarten, had more conflicts with
ment and early education.                            problems from preschool to second grade.         adults and were less socially competent.
                                                                                                                                                         PHOTO : FRANCE LACAS




   One of the largest studies to tackle this            Better-quality child care is related to           As the average hours of child care per
question was part of the Cost, Quality and           better outcomes for children, conclude the       week increased over the first 4.5 years of
Child Outcomes in Child Care Centers                 researchers. The more child care quality in-     life, so did the likelihood that children (12
Study.1 It examined the effects of child care        creases, the better off children are.            to 16%) would develop problem behav-
PAGE 4 - BULLETIN OF THE CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT                                               VOLUME 3, No. 1-MARCH 2004
                                                                                                                                                                           NEW RESEARCH




                                                                                                                                                            CONCLUSION?
                                                                                                                                                            F
                                                                                                                                                                   ollowing a discussion of the
                                                                                                                                                                   results from the two studies,
                                                                                                                                                                   Sandra Griffin, Executive Director
                                                                                                                                                            of the Canadian Child Care Federation,
                                                 iours. This was particularly true for children   by family background or when the NICHD                    and Richard E. Tremblay, CEECD Direc-
                                                 in child care centres, who had even higher       researchers took maternal sensitivity and                 tor, came to the following conclusion:
                                                 levels of problem behaviour than children        other child care-related factors into ac-                     “While these two studies reflect
                                                 in other kinds of care. These findings were      count, overall family-related factors seemed              child care in the United States, the
                                                 consistent regardless of the quality of child    to have more impact on the development                    results do provide a challenge for
                                                 care. More hours in child care during in-        of problem behaviour than child care.                     Canadians in the development of a
                                                 fancy and the amount of care in the third        When mothers provided more sensitive                      comprehensive system for early learn-
                                                 and fourth years of life may have an impact      care, their children were more socially com-              ing and child care. On the one hand,
                                                 on later social adjustment, the researchers      petent in kindergarten, with fewer problem                the studies identify the potential posi-
                                                 suggest. At the same time the NICHD team         behaviours and conflicts with adults.                     tive effects of quality child care and
                                                 reports that even children experiencing the                                                                on the other hand, they identify some
                                                 greatest amount of non-maternal care do              Ref.: 1. Peisner-Feinberg ES, Burchinal MR, Clif-     potential risks to be considered with
                                                 not reach clinical levels of problem behav-      ford RM, et al. The Relation of Preschool Child-Care      respect to the overall amount of time
                                                 iour. However, although the detected ef-         Quality to Children’s Cognitive and Social Develop-       children spend in child care.
                                                 fects of the quantity of child care were by      mental Trajectories through Second Grade. Child De-           Too often, the debate concerning
                                                 no means strong, this must be regarded as        velopment 2001;72(5):1534-1553.                           ‘the child care issue’ will focus on
                                                 noteworthy because “even small effects,              Ref.: 2. National Institute of Child Health and Hu-   using the research to either speak for
                                                 when experienced by many children, may           man Development Early Child Care Research Network.        it or against it. We trust that we are
                                                 have broad-scale implications for larger         Does Amount of Time Spent in Child Care Predict So-       beyond such simplistic arguments.
                                                 policy discussions.”                             cioemotional Adjustment during the Transition to          These studies remind us that the
                                                    While the potentially negative effects of     Kindergarten? Child Development 2003;74(4):976-           development of a comprehensive
                                                 long-term child care were not influenced         1005.                                                     early-learning and child care system
                                                                                                                                                            must include family and employment
                                                                                                                                                            policies. They do not speak against
                                                                                                                                                            the development of the system – they
                                                      WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEARN MORE                                                                          assist us in developing a system based
                                                                                                                                                            on the best available knowledge that
                                                      ABOUT CHILD CARE?                                                                                     supports the healthy development of
                                                                                                                                                            children in Canada. They also show
PHOTO : COURTESY OF CCCF / REBECCA A. PETERSON




                                                      See our experts’ papers in the CEECD Encyclopedia:                                                    the need for increasing the quantity
                                                                                                                                                            and quality of research on child care
                                                      CHILD CARE (0-2 YEARS)                                                                                in Canada. Without systematic assess-
                                                      http://www.excellence-earlychildhood.ca/theme.asp?id=24&lang=EN                                       ments of the programs for different
                                                                                                                                                            types of families and in different con-
                                                      CHILD CARE (2-5 YEARS)                                                                                texts, we will never be able to know
                                                      http://www.excellence-earlychildhood.ca/theme.asp?id=25&lang=EN                                       what is working, and what is not
                                                                                                                                                            working well for our children.”


                                                 VOLUME 3, No. 1-MARCH 2004                                                   BULLETIN OF THE CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT - PAGE 5
COMMENTS

                                    MAKING THE CONNECTIONS:
                           WHY INFANTS’ BRAINS NEED
by Liz Warwick
                                        THE
                                                                     BEST START
      “Brain development in the                                       “It is very costly
     early years sets the patterns                                    to reverse years
          for behaviour learning,                              of damage and neglect”
        and physical and mental
                  health later on“
                                Fraser Mustard                                    James Heckman




                                                                                                        preferably in the prenatal period so that ba-
                                                                                                        bies have a healthy start in life. Then, child-
                                                                                                        ren need environments that reinforce their
                                                                                                        innate curiosity. “If curiosity is stimulated, it
                                                                                                        brings the child to stand on his own feet and
                                                                                                        provides a way of encouraging learning.
                                                                                                        Studies suggest that early reinforcement of
                                                                                                        curiosity has a huge impact on subsequent
                                                                                                        learning ability, command of the language


F
     raser Mustard points out that econo-            development and help parents learn about           and the ability to do mathematical opera-
     mists have shown that investing in              parenting by doing.” By supporting parents         tions.”
     the early years provides more benefits          and children, society benefits in the long             Unfortunately, parents do not always
than investing heavily in remedial pro-              run. “If we don’t invest in young children, who    know how to provide an enriching envi-
grams later on. To help parents provide that         is going to run the economy?”                      ronment or do not understand the impor-
optimal care, he suggests creating early                                                                tance of doing so. “The family is the greatest
childhood development and parenting                  PAYING THE PRICE FOR NOT HELPING                   source of inequality in modern society,”
centres within, if possible, walking distance        YOUNG CHILDREN                                     Heckman says. “But if we offer parents the
of parents’ homes.                                       “It’s never too early to start investing in    opportunities to enrich their children’s lives,
   During the first year, at least one parent        children,” says Nobel Prize-winning econo-         most parents will take it.” Society should not
(probably the mother) would be involved              mist James Heckman. “It is very costly to re-      expect that schools will be able to make up
heavily without having to pay a penalty at           verse years of damage and neglect. Many of         for years of neglect and a lack of stimu-
her outside work. During years two and               the important skills, abilities and motivations    lation. By age five or six, too many negative
three, parents would be involved for two             in life are set at a relatively early age. Skill   patterns have been set. “If we neglect the
days a week—again with their workload at             begets skill and motivation begets moti-           child, then we create a problem child,”
                                                                                                                                                            PHOTO : FNQLHSSC




a paid job being adjusted accordingly.               vation.”                                           Heckman says. “Solving their problems is typ-
“These centres would allow families to be-               Heckman argues that society’s invest-          ically much more costly than solving the in-
come part of a support system for their child’s      ment must begin in the very early years,           itial problem.”
PAGE 6 - BULLETIN OF THE CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT                                                  VOLUME 3, No. 1-MARCH 2004
                                                                                                                                            VOICES FROM THE FIELD

                                                                         GIVING FAMILIES
                                                             THE
                                                                        SUPPORT
                                           by Liz Warwick                           THEY NEED


                                           When Sandra Griffin, Executive Director        build-up of cognitive and behavioural prob-        been said before, but can we really afford not
                                           of the Canadian Child Care Federation          lems.” Maxwell also suggests that a major          to invest in high-quality care?”
                                           (CCCF), talks to parents about child           “research transfer” must happen between                Maxwell notes that Quebec has taken a
                                           care, she emphasizes the idea of               people studying children’s development             major step forward on the issue of quality
                                           partnership. “The community has a role         and the policy-makers, government officials        care by ensuring that family child care
                                           to play in raising the community’s             and community workers trying to develop            providers be licensed through and affiliated
                                           children,” Griffin says. “And the research     and implement programs.                            with an early childhood centre. “It helps raise
                                           tells us that child care does not interfere                                                       the standards of care,” she says. However,
                                           with the attachment to parents. What’s         QUALITY IS THE KEY                                 Griffin also suggests that early childhood
                                           most important in developing that                  Both women agree that child care can           training must be available and accessible,
                                           attachment is how sensitively a parent         play an important role in helping parents          and providers must be well paid for their
                                           responds to a child.”                          give their children the best possible start in     services to avoid high turnover rates in care
                                                                                          life. However, Griffin points out that: “If you    arrangements.
                                                                                          look at the data from various studies, the             Given the pressing need in all provinces
                                                                                          strongest results are in the better thinking       for more quality child care spaces, Maxwell
                                                                                          and language skills of children who are in         suggests provinces might want to consider


                                           F
                                                  or Sandra Griffin and Judith Maxwell,   high-quality care.” Ensuring quality means         using under-utilized schools as the hub
                                                  founder and President of the Cana-      looking beyond the health and safety re-           of a community family-support program.
                                                  dian Policy Research Networks, child    quirements established by each province.           Child care services and parenting resources
                                           care must be embedded in broad array of        “Children may be physically safe but you’re        could be grouped under one roof, thus
                                           services and programs that ensure the op-      not optimizing their development.” High-           making clearer the link between child care
                                           timal development of children and their        quality care should have low child-to-adult        and education. Such a system might even-
                                           families.“We need good, accessible parenting   ratios, so children receive plenty of atten-       tually see the introduction of junior kinder-
                                           resources in the community,” says Maxwell.     tion. The adult caregiver must understand          garten for three and four-year-olds. “We
                                           “Parents need these resources so that when     child development and the differences in           need to exert more time and effort to come
                                           problems come up, they can access the best-    children’s temperaments. “Those first years        up with innovative child care models,” says
                                           practice information. You want to avoid a      are so important,” says Griffin. “I know it has    Maxwell.


                                                MARK YOUR CALENDARS


                                                NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON QUALITY OF CHILD CARE
                                                JUNE 3 TO 5, 2005, REGINA
PHOTO : COURTESY OF CCCF / EARLA LEGAULT




                                                Don’t miss this opportunity to join in the exchange on Quality of Child Care between Canadian and international leaders in research,
                                                practice and policy. From June 3 to 5, 2005, attend this national conference in Regina, Saskatchewan, co-hosted by the Centre of
                                                Excellence on Early Childhood Development, the Saskatchewan Early Childhood Association, the Canadian Child Care Federation,
                                                and the provincial/territorial directors of early learning and child care.

                                                Check out the CEECD Web site www.excellence-earlychildhood.ca for further details in the weeks to come.



                                           VOLUME 3, No. 1-MARCH 2004                                             BULLETIN OF THE CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT - PAGE 7
VOICES FROM THE FIELD

                              WHY NOT
                        EVALUATE
by Sophie Payeur                      CHILD CARE SERVICES?

Hélène Potvin is not worried about child             It has paved the way for an educational pro-        there have been several improvements in the
care service quality evaluations.                    gram in child care facilities that focuses on       services provided by CPEs, and by the family
However, the President of the                        children’s overall development through play,        child care services supervised by CPEs.”
Association québécoise des centres                   and consolidates practices already adopted              Potvin believes that these evaluations
de la petite enfance (AQCPE – Quebec                 by all child care workers.” The family policy       are essential points of reference. “What weak
Association of Child Care Centres)                   was accompanied by an increase in wages             points or strong points can we work on to im-
thinks that, for fairness’ sake,                     and the introduction of a pension plan.             prove services? The evaluation is an essential
we need to look at developments                      Potvin feels that these initiatives represent       tool to keep going in the right direction.”
leading up to the evaluation.                        more than just better working conditions:               She is determined to do what it takes for
                                                     “The government recognized how important            all child care workers to obtain their college
                                                     our mission was, and showed that it shared          degrees, and for them to receive ongoing
                                                     our beliefs, our vision.”                           training. She also intends to work hard to


T
       he Government of Quebec introdu-                  Today, the President of the AQCPE is            improve the quality of educational child




                                                                                                                                                             PHOTO : COURTESY OF CCCF / LISA PHIPPS
       ced its family policy in 1997. One of         philosophical about the findings of the             care services, and hopes that the govern-
       the policy’s goals was to develop             study on the quality of the province’s child        ment will come on board: “I am worried
child care and education services for young          care services conducted by Dr. Richard E.           about how the government will deal with the
children.The cornerstone of this reform was,         Tremblay and his team. “We would like to            evaluation’s findings. I hope our politicians
without a doubt, five-dollar child care. Ac-         have seen better performance results for all        will use them first and foremost to support
cording to the President of the AQCPE,“The           child care centres (CPEs). Nevertheless, I think    our efforts, so that we can increase the access-
reform is a vast visionary building ground.          the findings are encouraging. They show that        ibility and quality of services.”




   The Bulletin is a publication of the Centre of Excellence for Early          Editors:                 Lucie Beaupré and Richard E. Tremblay
   Childhood Development, one of four Centres of Excellence for                 Collaborators:           Sophie Payeur, Heather Pengelley,
   Children’s Well-Being funded by Health Canada. The views                                              Liz Warwick
   expressed herein do not represent the official policies of Health            Proofreading:            Valérie Bell, Kathe Lieber, Tammy Martin
   Canada. The Centre identifies and summarizes the best scientific             Scientific Proofreading: Christa Japel
   work on social and emotional development of young children                   Translator:              Marie-Catherine Chiasson
   and makes this information available to service planners,                    Layout:                  Guylaine Couture
   service providers and policymakers.                                          Printing:                QuadriScan

   The Centre’s partners are Health Canada, Université de Montréal,             Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development
   Centre de recherche de l’Hôpital Sainte-Justine, Fondation Jules             GRIP-Université de Montréal
   et Paul-Émile Léger, Canadian Paediatric Society, Montreal                   P.O. Box 6128, Succursale Centre-ville
   Children’s Hospital, Canadian Child Care Federation, University              Montreal (Quebec) H3C 3J7
   of British Columbia, Institut national de santé publique du Québec,          Telephone: (514) 343-6111, extension 2541
   Dalhousie University, IWK Health Center, Centre de Psycho-Éduca-             Fax: (514) 343-6962
   tion du Québec, Queen’s University, First Nations of Quebec and              E-mail: cedje-ceecd@umontreal.ca
   Labrador Health and Social Services Commission.                              Web site: www.excellence-earlychildhood.ca
                                                                                ISSN 1499-6219
                                                                                ISSN 1499-6227



PAGE 8 - BULLETIN OF THE CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT                                                   VOLUME 3, No. 1-MARCH 2004

				
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