Comprehensive resources for parents and professionals in play-based early childhood education

James Fraser Mustard

Throughout the 1950s and 60s, Dr. Fraser Mustard worked as a medical researcher at Cambridge and McMaster universities. Thirty years later, his focus evolved towards linking experts in all fields, and he launched the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. This “institute without walls’ allowed for interdisciplinary teams from across Canada and around the world to explore a variety of scientific and social challenges.

Dr. Mustard also created the Founder’s Network, which also brings together talented individuals from different areas of study to tackle problems in the fields of science and technology, economic issues and early childhood development.

  • The Early Years Study 2: Putting Science Into Action

    McCain, M.N., Mustard, F. & Shanker, S. (2007). The Early Years Study 2: Putting Science Into Action. Toronto, ON: Council for Early Childhood Development.

    This Canadian study builds on previous findings about brain development in early childhood. It outlines how different experiences early in life affect the wiring of the brain, and how emotions play a role in brain development. The study also highlights the importance of play in expanding intelligence, providing a testing ground for language and reasoning skills, and its role in developing a child’s confidence, self esteem, and sense of their own strength and weaknesses. The study also suggests neighbourhood schools would be ideal locations for early childhood centres. These centres should revolve around the power of play, and be staffed by a skilled, competent and fairly-compensated workforce.