The Study

The Early Years Study 3 documents the social, economic and scientific rationale for increased investments in early childhood education. It also introduces the Early Childhood Education Report to monitor the funding, policy, access and quality of early education programming.

Early Years Study 3: Making decisions, taking action builds on the work of the first Early Years Study: Reversing the real brain drain (1999). This landmark report became a conversation-changer, sparking widespread interest in how experiences in early childhood shape the architecture and function of the brain, with lifelong consequences for the individual and for society. Early Years Study 2: Putting science into action focused on the policy framework necessary to improve conditions in early childhood, with a view of improving the health of the population.  

Together, the three Early Years studies argue that if we truly wish to provide our children with an equal opportunity to maximize their potential, it is vital that we do everything we can to enhance their early development. Our survival as a species will depend on our children acquiring the skills they will need to cope with the social and environmental revolutions of the 21st century. Canada’s tomorrow depends on our ability to leverage what we know into policies and practices that support families and benefit children today. Now, as never before, knowledge needs to be harnessed to serve not just every individual in our society, but every society around the globe.

The Early Years Study 3 is published by the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation with the support of a group of foundations* that are working together to increase awareness of early human development. Together we have a goal that is ambitious, promising and fundamentally progressive: to expand publicly-funded preschool education for all 2- to 5-year-olds. It would be available, affordable, top-quality and voluntary. Parents would decide if and how often their children attend.


Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation
(Jane Bertrand,   

Atkinson Charitable Foundation, Toronto, ON
(Christine Avery Nuñez,

Fondation Lucie et André Chagnon, Montreal, QC
(Jean Serge Grisé: (

Lyle. S. Hallman Foundation, Kitchener, ON
(Laura Manning,

Lawson Foundation, London, ON
(Angie Killoran,
J.S. McConnell Family Foundation, Montreal, QC
(Stephen Huddart

Muttart Foundation, Edmonton, AB
(Christopher Smith,

Jimmy Pratt Foundation, St. John's, NL
(David Philpott,

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