The IECSS project uses a qualitative and longitudinal approach to research.

Qualitative research is used to understand the underlying reasons, opinions, and motivations about a topic. We are interviewing families to understand how integrated early childhood education and care services are meeting the needs of children with disabilities. We are using a qualitative approach because:

  • We want to understand family experiences in navigating a system that is meant to be accessible and integrated.
  • We want to understand service integration experiences in diverse cultures and across rural, remote and urban communities across Ontario.
  • We are partnered with the County of Wellington, District of Timiskaming, City of Hamilton and City of Toronto.

Longitudinal research involves repeated data collection of the same topic over a long period of time. We want to interview families accessing support over a 3 year period.

  • From 2015 to 2018, the research team will interview families who are accessing childcare, early intervention and Aboriginal services.
  • From the interviews, we will create service profiles to better understand the level of access and integration across the system.
  • Through grounded theory analysis of the 3 years of interview and service profile data, we will develop a theoretical model. The model will illustrate how early childhood service systems function for families in diverse communities whose children experience disability.