Early Childhood

The Government of Canada recognizes that families are the building blocks of our society, and that getting the best possible start in life is crucial to ensuring that children reach their full potential.

Public investments in early childhood education and care

The Public Investments in Early Childhood Education and Care in Canada 2013 report provides an overview of federal programs and spending, as well as provincial and territorial information on licensed child care, kindergarten, and other early childhood education and care programs.


Well-being in the early years can be assessed by looking at several factors such as:

  • overall health and safety;
  • motor, social and cognitive development; and
  • the environments in which children grow up.

Read the Well-Being of Canada’s Young Children: Government of Canada Report 2011.

Official Language Minority Communities

The Early Childhood Development in Official Language Minority Communities initiative originated under the 2003-2008 Action Plan for Official Languages and continued until 2013 under theRoadmap for Canada’s Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future.

The goals of the initiative were to:

  • promote awareness of early childhood development; and
  • strengthen and improve access to programs and services in official language minority communities.

Understanding the Early Years

Beginning in 1999 and ending in March 2011, the Understanding the Early Years initiative helped communities to gather quality early childhood development information on:

  • how their young children are developing;
  • family and community factors that influence children's development; and
  • the availability of local resources to support young children and their families.

The initiative has enabled communities to better understand the needs of their young children and their families. This allows the communities to strengthen or design local programs and services to meet those needs.