Early Years Study 3 (2011)

Making Decisions, Taking Action

Building on the work of the first Early Years Study: Reversing the Real Brain Drain (1999), Early Years Study 3 was co-authored by the Hon. Margaret McCain, Dr. Fraser Mustard, and Kerry McCuaig.

It documented the social, economic, and scientific rationale for increased investments in early childhood education.

Highlights of Early Years Study 3:

  • EYS3 proposed that publicly-funded preschool education be expanded for all 2 to 5-year-olds. It would be widely available, affordable, top-quality, voluntary, and parents would decide if and how often their
    children attend.
  • The study introduced the Early Childhood Education Report to monitor the funding, policy, access and quality of early education programming.
  • An analysis of the economic benefits of Quebec’s early childhood education revealed that the investment more than paid for itself. 
  • It reported how early education could expand by building on public education.
  • It highlighted findings from Toronto First Duty about how current programs for young children and their families are only a patchwork solution.

What Early Years Study 3: Making Decisions, Taking Action Achieved:

  • Now produced every three years, the Early Childhood Education Report is used by governments to inform policy and spending decisions.
  • There has been an expansion of early childhood education that builds on the public education system in jurisdictions across Canada.
  • Evidence of the economic benefits of investment in early childhood education were confirmed by leading Canadian economists and resonated with governments across Canada.
  • Public investment in early childhood education has more than doubled since 2011.