City of Toronto tool used for child care endorsed by scholars

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The Toronto Children’s Services’ Assessment for Quality Improvement (AQI) tool is an accurate way to determine quality in early learning and child care settings, according to a recently   published article in the scholarly journal Early Education and Development. The endorsement makes the AQI the only peer-reviewed and validated improvement tool for child care developed in Canada.

“We always believed that Toronto child care is of the highest quality in Canada,” said Councillor James Pasternak (Ward 10 York Centre), Chair of the Community Development and Recreation Committee. “Now we have evidence that demonstrates that our quality measurement tool will only improve the quality of early learning in our city.”

The AQI gauges a wide variety of child care elements, including the quality of the interactions between caregivers and children, the appropriateness of developmental activities for different age groups, the frequency of toy cleaning and the ways children’s self-esteem is supported.

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Early learning system

“We are committed to promoting and supporting a high-quality early learning and child care system for Toronto’s families,” said Elaine Baxter-Trahair, General Manager of City of Toronto Children’s Services. “Parents can be assured that the online ratings for their child’s early learning program accurately represents that program’s quality.”

The City of Toronto partnered with the University of Toronto’s Ontario Studies in Education (OISE) over several years to create the questions, design and implement the studies to determine whether the AQI truly measured quality in early learning settings, and examine the results of those studies.

“Through this research process, we are confident that the City’s measure of quality, and the process the City uses to assess quality, are accurate and fair,” said Dr. Michal Perlman, Associate Professor at OISE/UT. “The transparent nature of the AQI also creates accountability in how tax dollars are spent.”

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Child care operators who participate in the City of Toronto’s AQI program are assessed annually and their ratings are available at

Other municipalities that have adopted the City of Toronto’s AQI include Thunder Bay, Muskoka and Durham. – CINEWS

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