TORONTO, Nov. 12, 2014 /CNW/ - The Early Childhood Education Report 2014, released today by the Atkinson Centre at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto, is the second status update in three years. It measures provincial and territorial performance based on a variety of criteria and compares Canada's results to other developed economies.
Although Canadian provinces and territories have increased spending on their preschool programs, access remains uneven and Canada continues to spend much less than its peers. In 2006, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) exposed Canada as a policy laggard. Of the 34 OECD countries, Canada came last in access to preschool. By 2014 there have been some improvements, but Canada is still outranked by countries such as Mexico.
In the 2011 report, only three Canadian jurisdictions made it past the halfway mark on the report's 15-point scale. Today, Quebec and Prince Edward Island are tied for first place with 10 points, while four other provinces—New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia—scored above 7. The other provinces and the Northwest Territories range between 4.5 and 6.5 points.
Across Canada, 58 percent of 2 to 4-year-olds now regularly attend a preschool; short of the 80 percent attendance rate set by the OECD. Only one in three children attend preschool in the Prairie Provinces compared to two out of three in Ontario and three out of four in Quebec.
Image with caption: "University of Toronto / Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (CNW Group/University of Toronto / Ontario Institute for Studies in Education)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20141112_C8506_PHOTO_EN_7859.jpg
SOURCE: University of Toronto / Ontario Institute for Studies in Education