Exploring Poverty Reduction Game Changers with VC Canada Members: Early Childhood Development

Submitted by Tamarack on October 19, 2016 - 6:48am
#6 in the VC Game Changer Series

We Are Looking for Your Ideas 

Help make this innovative approach work! Ideas and suggestions from Cities Reducing Poverty members and broader learners of the Vibrant Communities Canada network are critical to developing a solid foundation in which to identify key levers that have large impacts on poverty reduction. 

Once you have read about the framework and reviewed some of the Game Changers we have drafted, participate in the process by filling in the short survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZYSR2RP.

Defining a 'Game Changer'

The poverty reduction Game Changer series highlights eight priority areas and strategies, as identified by Vibrant Communities Canada and our Cities Reducing Poverty members, that elicit an array of positive, significant, and cascading outcomes towards reducing poverty.


#6 in the Game Changer Series: Early Childhood Development

This Game Changer encompasses healthy early child development, school readiness, strong parenting skills, and access to affordable and regulated childcare spaces.

Healthy early childhood development supports children to be physically and emotionally healthy, safe and secure, ready to learn, socially engaged, and responsible. A child’s early years, particularly from before birth through age six, critically influence the course and outcome of their adolescent and adult lives. Their development during these years influences success in school, transition into adulthood, and lifelong health and well-being. Children require access to early literacy and development programs, positive school experiences, inspiring adult role models, and opportunities to develop their talents. Parents must have the time, tools, and resources required to give their children a good start in life, including strong parenting skills, and access to affordable, regulated child care services. Ultimately, children are our future parents, consumers, and decision-makers. Maximizing development through their early years ultimately creates positive and supportive communities for all.

Recommendations for Best Practices and Policies


  • Canada Child Benefit – A tax-free monthly paymentto help low- and middle-income families with the costs associated with raising their children.


  • Ontario’s Child Benefit – Financial support for low to moderate-income families, regardless of working status, to help parents with the costs of raising their children.


  • $10 per day campaign – Proposed child care plan to reduce fees, to ensure regulated spaces are available for every child, and to train and employ fairly-compensated educators.
  • Early Years Development Institute – Fosters innovative strategies to support young children by identifying strengths, acknowledging vulnerabilities, leveraging resources and influencing systems.

Share this Game Changer with your network by downloading it as a PDF here.

Learn More

  • Access Mark Holmgren's presentation slides on the Game Changer Approach to Poverty Reduction
  • Find an Overview of the eight game-changing best practices and policies we are exploring in the poverty reduction network