ECD Call to Action

Early Years Call to Action

Early Years call to action

The Issue

Early years is a crucial period of human growth. Yet, in BC, young children’s vulnerability rates have risen. Families in need of quality child care face a crisis of affordability and access. Wait times for support for children with special needs are unacceptable. Family support programming is fragile and underfunded. And, young Aboriginal children continue to be over-represented in all high-risk categories due to poverty, policy neglect and the continued legacy of colonization.

The research and support for policy change and greater public investments in early childhood has grown. But, no clear progress has been achieved. Senior levels of government have chosen not to invest or make necessary public policy changes. Without supportive policy and services, young families will continue to be stressed by the demands of caring.


We envision a province in which the rights and well-being of all BC’s young children are valued and respected in thriving families, nurturing communities and by well-resourced and comprehensive public policy.

– Make BC’s Young Children and Families a Priority: A Call to Action


The Campaign

We believe that all young children and their families should be able to access the early childhood development (ECD) supports and services that they need.

In January 2015, we published an early childhood development Call to Action. It builds on First Call’s previously published Early Childhood Development in BC: First Call’s Framework for Action.

We also published a 4-page executive summary of the 2015 Call to Action. It found the recommendations in the framework to still be relevant. What is needed now is political will and commitment.

First Call’s 2015 ECD Call to Action:

  • Advances children’s rights
  • Emphasizes the primary role of families
  • Supports communities
  • Affirms society’s collective responsibility
  • Highlights the importance of culturally safe, respectful and relevant services and supports
  • Recognizes our unique relationship with, and responsibilities to, Aboriginal peoples
  • Prioritizes the supports and services that are unique to the early years
  • Calls on governments to build from existing services
  • Affirms that we can afford to make substantial and meaningful public investments
  • Provides First Call, other organizations, governments and communities with an advocacy tool

In May 2015 we sent a copy of Make BC’s Young Children and Families a Priority: A Call to Action to Premier Clark. The letter encouraged her government to make the policy changes and investment required to make BC’s young children and families a priority. We also sent an email to all BC MLAs with a copy of the Call to Action and the Letter to the Premier.


This Call to Action requires governments to take action to fulfill our responsibilities to all BC’s families with young children.

– Make BC’s Young Children and Families a Priority: A Call to Action


Take Action!

Tell the premier you support action on early years!

Show your support for young families by sending an email to Premier Horgan telling him that you support this Call to Action.

We welcome other ideas from First Call partners and supporters for how the Call to Action can best be put to use.

If you would like print copies of the Call to Action, or would like someone to speak to your organization about its recommendations, contact us at




Developing the Call to Action from the Framework for Action

The Call to Action builds on the previously published Framework for Action. The framework defines the components that are essential for an effective early years strategy. It recommends ways that ideas can be interwoven, strengthened, enhanced and transformed. Leading to an integrated, adequately resourced province-wide approach to ensuring healthy child development in BC.

We led an engagement process to review and update the Framework for Action. It reflected the latest research and diverse perspectives and collective wisdom of families and ECD partners across BC.

The engagement process included a survey. Participants could review and comment on key points and identify the issues that matter to them. We presented to many diverse groups and asked for feedback.

The consultations and research found the recommendations still to be valid and a blueprint for action. What is now needed is political will.


The 2015 ECD Call to Action: Make BC’s Young Children and Families a Priority

This Call to Action arose from the consensus of the partners in our Early Childhood Development Roundtable. They represent a broad range of early childhood sub-sectors, organizations and supporters.

We envision a province in which the rights and well-being of all BC’s young children is valued. These children are living in thriving families, nurturing communities and by well-resourced and comprehensive public policy.

We launched our Call to Action at our March 2015 First Call coalition meeting, with a presentation of our findings by Lynell Anderson, a co-author of the Call the Action.

Several First Call member organizations have endorsed the campaign:


Learn More

Read the full Call to Action  and the full Framework for Action

Use the Framework for Action’s annotated bibliography of ECD resources (updated in December 2012)

Support the $10 a Day Childcare Plan – the solution to BC’s child care crisis.

Read HELP’s 15 by 15: A comprehensive policy framework for early human capital investment in BC.  HELP has completed a groundbreaking research project that quantifies the costs and benefits of addressing early vulnerability in BC. It illustrates why all of us should care about the real brain drain in BC today resulting from our failure to adequately invest in our children’s early years.

See the contact list of the Directors of Operation for the Early Years for the 13 Ministry of Children and Family Development regional service delivery areas who manage the service contracts awarded by the ministry for early years supports and services in their regions.


Funding and in-kind support for the ECD Call to Action generously provided by

United Way of the Lower Mainland and the Human Early Learning Partnership

United Way

Human Early Learning Partnership






Funding for the Campaign is generously provided by

First Call member organisations the BC Aboriginal Child Care Society, the Developmental Disabilities Association, the Early Childhood Educators of BC, and West Coast Childcare Resource Centre.

Support for this campaign does not necessarily imply funders’ endorsement of all the contents of this site