“Child care is central to providing support to children and families, enabling parents to contribute to the economy and ensuring the learning, care, and developmental needs of children are met. The child care workforce is critical to the success of these outcomes and to the well-being of a healthy and productive society.” – CCHRSC Working for Change Report, 2004
Through their day-to-day work, early childhood educators make a significant contribution to the development of children, and to the well-being of families and society.
The Value of Early Childhood Education and Care
High-quality early childhood education and care supports a child’s physical, emotional, social and intellectual growth. With many studies showing how the first five years are critical to lifelong development, the importance of positive early learning experiences is clear.
High-quality child care provides:
Early childhood educators provide care and play-based learning designed to meet the developmental needs of the child, foster positive social interaction, and build a foundation for lifelong learning. They can also help detect barriers and challenges to a child’s healthy development and learning and work with parents or government agencies on behalf of a child.
Quality child care allows parents to balance work and family responsibilities. With an increasing number of women with young children in the paid workforce or in education programs, access to affordable, high-quality child care is not an option for many families—it is a necessity. Statistics demonstrate the importance of early childhood education and care services for Canadian families:
An investment in early childhood education and care is an investment in children and families, with significant benefits to Canadian society. Economists estimate that for every $1 spent on child care, there is a $2 social and economic benefit:
Children’s experiences in their early years can make a difference over their whole lifetime, with far-reaching implications for Canada’s social and economic well-being. For these reasons, economists have documented that the long-term benefits of high-quality early childhood education and care far outweigh the costs.