Participating in Early Learning Programs is based on parents of TDSB students (Grades K to 6) who reported whether their child regularly attended an early learning and care program at a child care centre, pre-school program, TDSB Parenting and Family Literacy Centre, or a play-based children’s programs.
Why is it important?
Participation in early learning and care programs can benefit children while supporting employment and societal needs for families. High quality early learning and care experiences help build a solid foundation for life-long learning by better preparing children for school both cognitively and socially. Early learning and care programs can also increase access to early identification and interventions for children with special needs.
What does it mean?
While the majority of parents (69%) report that their child regularly attended an early learning and care program before entering school, nearly a third (31%) report that their child did not attend any programs. Figure 1 shows neighbourhoods with the highest percentage of children not participating in early learning programs. North Etobicoke and North Scarborough have a high concentration of neighbourhoods where children are not participating in early learning programs. Figure 2 shows that 43% of children from families with income under $30,000 did not participate in early learning and care programs compared to 10% from families with incomes over $100,000. Figure 3 shows that there are differences in participation in early learning and care programs based on race, where white children participate in early learning and care programs the most.
Figure 1: Percent of students who did not participate in an early learning or care program, TDSB (Grades K to 6), 2012
Toronto District School Board (TDSB), Parent Census, Grades K to 6, 2012.
This indicator does not consider informal child care or licensed home child care as providers of early learning and care environments. It is also not inclusive of informal kinds of early learning and care.