Christine Alden

Program Director
 Email Christine
phone: 416.775.9458 x207

Lawson Team

Christine has been with the Lawson Foundation as Program Director in the areas of early child development and outdoor play since 2012. Her M.Ed and background as an elementary school teacher in American schools in Latin America raised but did not answer her questions about children’s readiness for school and family influences on child development. The 1999 Early Years Study (Mustard and McCain) first exposed her to the science of early child development and the potential of public policy to provide all children with a healthy, equitable start in life.

Christine’s first work in ECD was with Pueblito Canada managing a variety of CIDA (former Canadian International Development Agency) funded early child development projects in Latin America in collaboration with local community partners. Projects included early childhood educator training in Brazil and Nicaragua, development of child and family support services in the bateyes of the Dominican Republic, indigenous early childhood education programs in Chiapas, Mexico, circus arts for youth at risk in Mexico City, and country and regional ECD policy development across Latin America. She also worked on behalf of Pueblito with the international Consultative Group on Early Childhood Care and Development (CGECCD).

Following her international work, Christine had the great fortune to work for the Council for Early Child Development (formerly funded by the Lawson Foundation) under the leadership of the late Drs. Fraser Mustard and Clyde Hertzman. As National Projects Lead, she supported the Council’s mission to put science into action in Canada through knowledge sharing events and networking with sector stakeholders. She provided staff leadership to the formation of a national network of thought leaders to foster dialogue and share resources between the education and early learning & care sectors. Before joining the Lawson Foundation, Christine held a brief contract at the Ontario government to support the transfer of child care licensing from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to the Ministry of Education’s Early Years Division. She helped coordinate the Early Years Division’s first child care gathering with First Nations in Ontario.

In 2022, Christine received her PhD in Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/ University of Toronto. Her doctoral dissertation explored outdoor pedagogy in three licensed child care programs in Ontario.

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