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Understanding the Early Years

Understanding the Early Years (UEY) is a research project to help communities understand how their children are doing and how to help them. The project gathers information about kindergarten children, their families, and their communities. It involves teachers, parents, guardians, community agencies, and the Government of Canada. Communities will use the information to build programs and services to help children reach their full potential in life.

The organizations working together on this project are:

  • the Success by Six Peel Community Coalition (community sponsor)
  • the Peel District School Board
  • the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board
  • Social Development Canada (SDC)

The UEY project tells us:

  • how well children are developing in Dixie Bloor
  • the strengths and needs in the Dixie Bloor community
  • how ready children in Dixie Bloor are to begin learning at school

Importance of UEY

Research shows that a child's first six years of life set the foundation for their future success. The more we learn about how children develop, the better we can help them be successful. Research also shows that the neighbourhoods and communities where children grow and learn directly influence their development. Examining community-specific information will help make sure the needs of the children are met.


The UEY project is funded by Social Development Canada (SDC).

Project Components

The three components of UEY are:

  • a community mapping study identifying community risk factors, strengths, and assets
  • an assessment of senior kindergarten students' readiness to learn as measured by the Early Development Instrument (EDI) and the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY)
  • a program inventory of the local services for families with young children


Since 1999, these communities have participated in UEY:

In 2000, these communities joined UEY:

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