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About the Childcare Resource and Research Unit

The Childcare Resource and Research Unit is an early childhood education and child care (ECEC) policy research institute with a mandate to further ECEC policy and programs in Canada.

What we do

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The Childcare Resource and Research Unit was established to:

  • provide public education, resources and consultation on ECEC policy and research;
  • foster and support research in various fields focusing on ECEC;
  • carry out relevant research projects and publish the results;
  • support, promote and provide communication on ECEC policy and research.

CRRU plays an integral role in the policy development process by:

  • anticipating the need for information resources on particular ECEC issues;
  • collecting, organizing, packaging and disseminating ECEC information resources;
  • keeping up-to-date on new information and developments related to programs, research and policy in the ECEC field;
  • facilitating communication among people involved in ECEC;
  • providing interpretations of research and policy materials in a form useful for people with an interest in ECEC in Canada;
  • undertaking research and evaluation as well as supporting and consulting with others involved in these activities.

Web-based resources

Part of CRRU's mandate is to collect, organize and synthesize ECEC information resources and to make them widely available. CRRU's website supports this mandate in several ways:

  • Online Document Database contains thousands of resources relevant to ECEC policy and practice in Canada and internationally. CRRU's website allows the user to quickly search or browse the database of documents. The Online Document Database is updated weekly with new materials;
  • Weekly e-news provides links to new resources and is available for email subscription;
  • ISSUE files are edited collections of online readings about contemporary topics in ECEC policy and practice.
  • Parent resources organized by province/territory to help families in finding child care, accessing subsidies, dealing with concerns, and getting involved in the child care community
  • Current Developments in ECEC collects online documents about current ECEC policy and program delivery issues in each province/territory and nationally.
  • child care canada now is a blog by Martha Friendly, CRRU staff and guest bloggers addressing current issues in Canadian ECEC.

Publications

CRRU produces a number of publications including an Occasional Paper series, BRIEFing NOTES, reports and videos. CRRU publications are available in print for order or online.

ECEC in Canada

CRRU periodically assembles pan-Canadian data about ECEC. This publication provides profiles of ECEC services in each province/territory including information on spaces, funding, regulation, training, and more. Tables in the publication present comparative data across the country, as well as trends across time. The 2008 edition (published in 2009) is the eighth edition for CRRU. This major publication is available in print or online.

Resource collection and CIRC online catalogue

Until 2007, CRRU maintained a comprehensive print collection of materials on ECEC and related topics, including child and family services, work and family issues, women’s labour force participation, maternity and parental leave, and more. Materials are catalogued according to a subject classification system developed specifically for this collection and can be located online through a searchable database called Childcare Information Resource Collection (CIRC). The collection includes materials from federal, provincial, and municipal governments (both Canadian and foreign), reports from non-governmental organizations, books, periodicals, journal articles, and videotapes. There are more than 21,000 documents in the CIRC database.

Due to budget cutbacks, the resource room is not available at the present time. The CIRC database is still available online and is a valuable research tool but is not being updated.

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