In 2011, 12 years after the first Early Years Study brought the science of early human development to the attention of policy makers and the public, and called on governments to invest in the early years at the same rate as for older children, much has changed in early childhood policy. Expanded parental leave and family benefits, universal newborn screening, family support programs and the widespread use of the Early Development Instrument prior to grade 1 have made their way into Canadian family policies and programs. The number of child care spaces has increased, education departments are taking an interest in children’s early learning and efforts are being made to align early childhood policies across departments. The following chapter introduces the Early Childhood Education Index 2011, a summary of the progress made by each jurisdiction and the continuing gaps.
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