Advocating for Investment in Early Child Development
The Lawson Foundation is a founding member of the Early Child Development Funders Working Group (ECD-FWG), a group of 8 Canadian foundations that regularly come together to discuss and debate issues related to quality early childhood education (ECE) and to look at ways to collaborate. The group does not fund projects per se, but rather acts as a resource to its membership, supporting collaboration and knowledge sharing that improves the effectiveness of our philanthropy relating to young children and informs policy development.
On the policy development front, the working group jointly penned an open letter in June 2015 to the leaders of the federal political parties with two simple key messages for policy makers in federal and provincial governments across Canada:
- The importance of investing more in quality ECE and
- The importance of a strong federal role in partnership with the provinces
The letter was also sent to provincial premiers with follow up meetings occurring with most provincial governments.
The group has also recently funded a major survey of Canadian’s views on early childhood education to strengthen its public policy work.
Foundations in Canada – including the Lawson Foundation – have an important contribution to bring to public policy given the many crucial social issues facing this country. The time has come for us to be much more visible and active on this front. If we are truly going to change things, we can’t avoid engaging meaningfully in the world of public policy.
Addional members of the Early Child Development Funders Working Group include:
- Atkinson Foundation
- Fondation Lucie and André Chagnon
- Lyle S. Hallman Foundation
- Margaret & Wallace McCain Family Foundation
- J.W. McConnell Family Foundation
- Muttart Foundation
- Jimmy Pratt Foundation
Related reading on the Lawson.ca Blog: Foundations taking a bold leadership role on the public policy front