2010.03 (Major Assessment)

Panel Co-Chairs:

  • Michel Boivin, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Tier I Canada Research Chair in Child Social Development, School of Psychology, Laval University: https://www.psy.ulaval.ca/?pid=996 Director of the Research Unit on Children’s Psycho-Social Maladjustment (GRIP), Laval University, and leader of the Strategic Knowledge Cluster on Early Child Development (SRC-ECD), a pan-Canadian consortium on ECD knowledge mobilization.
  • Clyde Hertzman, MD, PhD, Professor of Health Care and Epidemiology in the School of Population Health and Tier I Canada Research Chair in Population Health and Human Development, University of British Columbia:http://www.chspr.ubc.ca/news/tribute-clyde-hertzmanHe is Director of the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP), College for Interdisciplinary Studies at UBC, and a Fellow of the Experience-based Brain and Biological Development Program, the Successful Societies Program of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. He is also the President of the Canadian Council on Early Child Development.

Panel Members:

  • Ronald Barr, MD, Head, Department of Developmental Neurosciences and Child Health, Professor of Paediatrics, Tier I Canada Research Chair in Community Child Health, and Director of the Centre for Community Health Research, University of British Columbia: http://www.cfri.ca/our-research/researchers/results/Details/ronald-g-barr
  • Thomas Boyce, MD, Professor of Paediatrics, Sunnyhill Health Centre Leadership Chair in Child Development at the Human Learning Partnership, UBC and the Centre for Community Health Research at BC Children’s Hospital, University of British Columbia: http://earlylearning.ubc.ca/people/Tom_Boyce/
  • Harriet MacMillan, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, David R. (Dan) Offord Chair in Child Studies, McMaster University: http://fhs.mcmaster.ca/ceb/faculty_member_macmillan.htm
  • Candice Odgers, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology and Social Behaviour, University of California, Irvine.
  • Marla Sokolowski, PhD, Professor of Biology, Tier I Canada Research Chair in Generics and Behavioural Neurology, and Senior Fellow of Massey College, University of Toronto: http://csb.utoronto.ca/marla-sokolowski/
  • Nico Trocme, PhD, Professor of Social Work, Philip Fisher Chair in Social Work, Director of Center for Research on Children and Families, McGill University: https://www.mcgill.ca/crcf/people/faculty/ntrocme

Assessment Document ECD_press_release.pdf

Confirmed Sponsor Norlien Foundation of Calgary

Final Report  Early Childhood Development Report Nov 15 2012

Early Childhood Development – A Major Assessment Conducted Jointly by The Royal Society of Canada (RSC) and The Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) It is now generally accepted that child, adolescent, and adult mental health, effective functioning,and well-being all result from a complex array of biological, social, and environmental factors. In order to advance public discussion on the issue of the role early adversity plays in these matters, the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) appointed an Expert Panel on Early Childhood Development. The Panel was chaired by Prof. Michel Boivin, FRSC, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Child Development, at Université Laval and Dr. Clyde Hertzman, FRSC, FCAHS, Director of the Human Early Learning Partnership and Professor in the School of Population and Public Health at The University of British Columbia. The Panel was given a mandate to consider a large body of scientific evidence that, if summarized for the public, would be helpful to their consideration of the issues surrounding early childhood development. While the RSC itself does not have an opinion on these matters, the Panel was struck as a service to Canadians, who would benefit from having a careful, balanced review of the publicly available evidence in this matter of critical importance to Canada. The sponsor of the assessment was the Norlein Foundation of Calgary, AB. On November 15, 2012, the Panel will released its report at a press conference in Ottawa. The report is  freely available for download from the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences website www.cahs-acss.ca.

The main questions that are addressed in the report include:

1. Are there identifiable adverse childhood experiences such as abuse, neglect, chronic poverty, family dysfunction, chronic illness, family addiction and/or mental illness that lead to poor mental health and unhealthy behaviours, such as addiction, in the adolescent and young adult? Is there evidence that they have their effects through changes to brain structure and function? Do these factors operate together to produce their changes? Are there factors that mitigate the influence of adverse early experiences?

2. What is the evidence for the effectiveness of a variety of interventions to mitigate the adverse effects of environmental influences [including social, political and chemical/biological] on the developing child?  To what extent are such interventions being implemented in Canada?

ECD Executive Summary

ECD Main Messages

ECD Report in Brief