Quality by Design working document:

Elements of a high quality early learning and child care system. [pdf, 8pp, 241KB]

Data, research and evaluation

Collection and analysis of information for evaluating effective practice and ensuring accountability that includes…

· A strategy for collecting and analyzing basic data to monitor effects of policy and financing and ensure accountability

· Research agenda to address key policy and program issues

· Evaluation of various approaches and innovations

· Regular review of progress towards goals

Regularly collected Canadian data about the availability and characteristics of ELCC programs, their utilization, unmet service needs, families, and the characteristics and educational levels of the workforce is incomplete and inconsistent across jurisdictions.

The basic data that should be gathered to support planning and resource allocation include, for example, measures of demographic demand, actual usage, availability of spaces by age, attendance patterns of different age groups, availability of spaces by geographic area, nature of facilities, progress of children with special needs, the levels of training of staff, staff turnover levels and fees in comparison to average family incomes in the same geographic area. It is also necessary to collect contextual data such as child population, use of maternity/parental leave, parental labour force participation, poverty and language. A data strategy requires on-going dedicated funding and designated personnel whose function is to coordinate and analyze the different strands of information.

Strong basic data will contribute to effective monitoring at the system level to track whether policies are meeting their intended purpose, to identify problems or emerging needs, and make adjustments as indicated. In addition, evaluation of specific initiatives and programs is required as program and policy developments proceed.

Finally, a well-defined long-term multidisciplinary research agenda and a program of research will contribute to effective ELCC programs and policies at the system and at the program level as well as to the Canadian knowledge base about their effects on children, families, women, communities and the larger society.



Connecting the science of child development to public policy
by Huston, A.
SOURCE: Social Policy Report, Volume 19, Number 4, 2005.

The state of data on early childhood education and care in Canada: National Data Project final report.
by Cleveland, G., Colley, S., Friendly, M. & Lero, D.
SOURCE: Childcare Resource and Research Unit, 2003.

Data needs in early childhood education and care. Discussion paper prepared for the OECD workshop, Paris
by Bennett, J.
SOURCE: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2002.


Developing comparable indicators in early childhood education and care
by Rostgaard, T.
SOURCE: Copenhagen: Danish National Institute of Social Research, 2000.