Academic Snapshots

Raising Canada 2021 Report: 10 Top Threats to Childhood in Canada Recovering from the Impacts of Covid-19

The Raising Canada 2021 Report states that one-third of kids in Canada do not having a safe and healthy childhood.  It is part of the Raising Canada annual series of reports that track the top 10 threats to childhood and released by Children First Canada.  For more than a decade, the state of childhood in Canada has been on the decline with Canada now ranking 30th out of 38 affluent nations for protecting the well-being of children – a significant drop since 12th place in 2007.  Raising Canada 2021 is the fourth in the series and highlights the effects of school closures due to COVID-19 on kids in Canada.  It urges all Canadians to put children first and for federal and provincial governments to put children at the heart of the Canada’s pandemic recovery plans.

10 Top Threats:

  1. Unintentional and preventable injuries
  2. Poor mental health
  3. Systemic racism and discrimination
  4. Child abuse
  5. Vaccine-preventable illnesses
  6. Poverty
  7. Food and nutritional insecurity
  8. Infant mortality
  9. Bullying
  10. Limited physical activity and play

Cross-Cutting Themes:

  1. Access to Education and Child Care
  2. Access to Health and Social Care
  3. Inequity and inequality
  4. Climate Change

Early Years Study 4: Thriving Kids, Thriving Society

(Margaret and Wallace McCain Foundation)


The Early Years Study is a series of reports that draw on academically rigorous studies about the impact of early experiences on lifelong learning, behaviour and health, and the public policies that influence these outcomes.

Since the inaugural Early Years Study: Reversing the Real Brain Drain was released in 1999, public funding for early childhood education, including all day junior and senior kindergartens, has more than tripled.

Early Years Study 4 makes the scientific, social, and economic case for building on these accomplishments to make early childhood education an entitlement for all young children as a first tier of publicly funded education. A strong case is made for high quality early childhood education to provide crucial developmental benefits giving all children the opportunity to thrive throughout their lives.

Not only does early childhood education benefit children, but Canadian society and the economy as well. Over the last 20 years and since the Honourable Margaret McCain and Dr. Fraser Mustard released the first Early Years Study in 1999, Early Years Studies 1, 2, and 3 have influenced far-reaching government action, including:

  • Enhanced parental leave, now up to 19 months
  • Full day kindergarten for 4-year olds in Ontario, the Northwest Territories, and Nova Scotia
  • Full day kindergarten for 5-year olds in British Columbia, Newfoundland, Ontario, and PEI
  • Early childhood education through public education for 40% of 4-year olds
  • Public funding for early childhood education tripled across Canada

The Early Year Studies 4 describes early childhood as “play-based learning in a nurturing environment, guided by experienced educators”. The Early Year Studies emphasize the profound impact during the preschool years when children are developing language, social, literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving skills as well as self-regulation and confidence. These crucial skills set them on a pathway for success that impacts their entire lives. In addition, the economic benefits are described with a return on investment of every $1 invested yielding $6 in economic benefits, such as:

  • Children are prepared for the 21st century workplace
  • Parents can to go back to work and ease out of poverty
  • The economy is stabilized and workforce shortages are addressed
  • Gender and income inequality for women is reduced
  • Diversity is increased
  • High school graduation rates are increased
  • The need for special education is reduced

Multisystemic Resilience


Multisystemic Resilience by the Resilience Research Centre brings together for the first time, in one volume, a wide range of resilience scholars who have been wrestling with how to explain processes of recovery, adaptation and transformation in the contexts of change and adversity.  With contributions from psychologists, epigeneticists, ecologists, architects, disaster specialists, engineers, social workers, public health researchers, and others, this innovative volume creates a platform for an interdisciplinary conversation about how to effectively research resilience across systems.  It also explains how to identify possible solutions to problems that threaten the physical and mental health of individuals, the well-being of our communities and sustainability.  Multisystemic Resilience is available as an open system access resource.

A free  electronic copy can be downloaded at:

Also, check out Resilient Research Centre’s website to find other books, special issues, chapters, and multiple-peer reviewed journal articles on resilience, such as the ones below:

Promoting child and youth resilience by strengthening home and school environments: A literature review

Akwasi Twum-Antwi, Philip Jefferies & Michael Ungar (2020) , International Journal of School & Educational Psychology, 8:2, 78-89, DOI: 10.1080/21683603.2019.1660284


A multisystemic model of resilience suggests that the capacity of one system to cope with atypical stress improves the capacity of co-occurring systems. In this paper, we review research demonstrating this relationship, where the more resilient caregivers are, the more likely children are to experience the promotive and protective factors they require for optimal growth and development in both home and school settings. We examine research from the last two decades on school- or family-based resilience promoting interventions, and advocate for a new perspective which adopts a multisystemic view of resilience in order to redirect the focus of the international research agenda, which places emphasis on children rather than systems. The implications of this multisystemic approach to resilience are discussed in relation to the design of programs that promote the well-being of parents and teachers in ways that contribute to more supportive and stable home and school environments for children.

Visit  the Resilience Research Centre at Dalhousie University to access innovative research that explores pathways to resilience across cultures with a focus on explaining how children, youth, and adults thrive in family, school, workplace, and community settings under stress. And access their many tools and resources.

Parental Resilience: A neglected construct in resilience research

Susana Gavidia-Payne, Bianca Denny, Kate Davis,  Andrew J.P. Francis:  February 2015: Clinical Psychologist 19(3)


The substantial focus of resilience research on childhood well-being has resulted in limited knowledge regarding other aspects of resilience in families, such as that of parents. Informed by literature in childhood and family resilience, in this review, we progress conceptual understanding by focusing on parental resilience. The definition of parental resilience, as the capacity of parents to deliver a competent and quality level of parenting to children despite the presence of risk factors, is offered here as a worthwhile framework through which to explore variables thought to contribute to resilience among parents. A conceptual model is proposed whereby parental psychological well-being and self-efficacy, family functioning, and social connectedness are specifically addressed, with each posited as playing an important role in parents’ ability to deliver high-quality parenting. In addition to these factors, how parents accommodate adversity and find meaning in their everyday lives within their families is hypothesised to be an important process in understanding parental resilience.

Issue Brief: Social and Emotional Learning In Canada: (2013)

(Guyn Cooper Research Associates)


Commissioned by the Carthy Foundation and the Max Bell Foundation provides a concise synopsis of research on the need for and the benefits of social and emotional learning.  The findings were identified from consultations with a cross-section of leaders and others working in the fields of social and emotional learning and mental health promotion. The brief provides observations and recommendations aligned with four themes:

  • Theme 1: Receptivity to and awareness of social and emotional learning
  • Theme 2: Environmental factors and trends
  • Theme 3: Barriers and gaps
  • Theme 4: Investment opportunities.

The consultation process resulted in the following conclusion: “Social and emotional learning has much to offer as a framework for helping to address some of the important challenges facing children and youth in Canada. When young people acquire social and emotional skills, they tend to have better outcomes relate to mental health, academic achievement and life. In other words, they tend to flourish.”

Check the “Ask a librarian” section on the website of the “Centre for Suicide Prevention” for the full article and others of interest to you.

Resilient Kids Canada

We do not provide mental health services.  If you require assistance, we recommend you contact:

Crisis Services Canada:  to help you to find distress centres and crisis organizations across Canada.  You can assess immediate help by calling 1-833-456-4566 (toll-free and available 24/7) or by Texting 45645 (4 pm – 12 am ET).

Kids Help Phone: available 24 hours a day for young people aged five (5) to twenty-nine (29).  Phone 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free) or text Connect 686868.

Hope for Wellness Helpline: a 24/7 crisis counselling helpline for Indigenous people across Canada who are suffering from mental health issues. Contact them at 1-855-242-3310 or visit their chat line at

Resilient Kids Canada’s Registered Charity Number 718447477 RR 001

Land Acknowledgment: Our lands spanning from Lake Ontario to the Niagara Escarpment are steeped in the Indigenous History and Modern Traditions of the many Firsts Nations and Métis. The territory is mutually covered by the Dishwith One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy, the Ojibway and other allied Nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. We would like to acknowledge that the land on which we gather is part of the Tready Land and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit.