Trends in Child Care/early Childhood Education/early Childhood Development Policy in Canada and the United States

By White, Linda A. | American Review of Canadian Studies, Winter 2004 | Go to article overview

Trends in Child Care/early Childhood Education/early Childhood Development Policy in Canada and the United States


White, Linda A., American Review of Canadian Studies


"Social Development Minister Ken Dryden is expected to deliver big
things on early childhood education in 2005. Why are you focusing on
nationwide daycare rather than just helping parents, no matter how
they choose to raise their young kids?"

"First of all, this is not daycare, this is early learning and child
care. We want to make sure that children are ready to excel as soon as
they go to formal school, regardless of income."
--Prime Minister Paul Martin in a Macleans.ca year-end interview, 17
December 2004

The ability of the Prime Minister to fend off attacks against a national child care program by switching the label to "early learning and child care" demonstrates the remarkable power of language to frame people's thinking about and responses to controversial public policy programs. Child care policies and programs have been on the public agenda since women began to enter the labor force in large numbers in the 1960s, yet strong debates have occurred as to whether government should be involved in the delivery of those services and how extensive that involvement should be. Many critics of any role for government have argued that child care is a private familial responsibility. In this view, governments' primary role should be to provide tax breaks to families so that one parent can afford to stay home. (1) If families need to be relieved or mothers need to return to work, then they should be able to rely on a variety of informal care arrangements (grandparents, neighbors, unlicensed family child care providers), or the market of commercial and not-for-profit child care centers. (2) Governments need only be involved in the funding and delivery of child care to families and communities that are "at risk" because of poverty or pathology. Under this view, child care performs a child welfare function, rather than support for working families or early learning and development.

In contrast, the government's role in the funding and delivery of elementary and secondary school education has been widely established in both countries for more than a century. Government's role in education has only become controversial in the past few decades, much more so in the United States than in Canada, as critics have claimed governments have failed to deliver effective and efficient education programs. Yet while charter schools, private schools, and home schooling has grown tremendously in the United States especially, (3) approximately 89 percent of children in the United States still attend a public school rather than a private school (National Center for Education Statistics, 2003), and approximately 94 percent attend in Canada (OECD, 2003).

Thus, it is of great interest to observe a parallel trend emerging in both the United States and Canada in the past five years or so that sees a uniting of these two policy streams at both the rhetorical and programmatic levels in government and in society. In media reports, in public discourse, and in government documents, actors involved in the child care policy area no longer talk only about "child care" but also child care's explicit connection to early childhood development or early childhood education. New terminology has emerged such as "early childhood education and care" (ECEC), or "early learning and child care," or even "educare" and has been more explicitly adopted by both government policy-makers and advocacy groups. (4)

While these parallel language shifts have occurred, differences have emerged in both rhetorical and programmatic emphasis in the two countries. Canadian governments have tended to emphasize the early childhood development aspects of programmatic change, whereas U.S. governments have focused more on the cognitive educational aspects, for reasons which will be explained below.

The purpose of this paper is to briefly (5) document the changes in language observed in both countries, and the differences in language used. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Trends in Child Care/early Childhood Education/early Childhood Development Policy in Canada and the United States
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.