The Social and Human Development Domain

The Social and Human Development Domain reveals differences in early childhood development, access to childcare facilities, and education and employment outcomes of Ottawa residents at the level of Ottawa neighbourhoods (census tract level). The domain ranks Ottawa neighbourhoods on how well-prepared children are to learn, pursue post-secondary studies, and access employment opportunities that can facilitate a poverty-free life. Through empirically mapping inequity, this NEI domain aims to support decision makers in making evidence-based decisions that can produce a more equitable, stronger, and healthier Ottawa.


The Ottawa NEI Social Development Domain has five indicators:

Proximity to Childcare

Average capacity of childcare services within a 10 minute driving distance per 10 children (age 0 to 5)

Early Childhood Development (EDI)

Percentage of children vulnerable in one or more areas of their development

Secondary Education

Percentage of population aged 20 to 24 with no certificate, diploma or degree

Post Secondary

Percentage of population aged 25 to 29 with post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree

Not Participating in the Labour Force

Percentage of population age 25 to 55 not participating in the labour force

Why this domain matters

Social and economic inequality reduces access to high-quality licenced child care. Higher income families are able to ensure their children have access to licensed child care facilities with professionals with degrees in education that can teach pre-literacy and numeracy skills. The more expensive the child care facility the better access to nutritious foods, smaller class sizes, and enhanced learning opportunities that develop motor, social, language and cognitive skills. Low-income families struggle to find affordable child care and are more likely to access less regulated and poorly resourced facilities which can limit children’s physical and intellectual development 1.


The disparity in access to quality child care becomes apparent by the time children start school. Children’s experiences before school entry can have a considerable impact on their developmental health, their readiness to learn, and their capacity to meet the demands of school. Children who meet early developmental milestones are more likely to succeed in school, complete high school, and pursue postsecondary studies – which then predicts employment outcomes and overall quality of life 2.



1 Rogoya, A., Pullman, A., Iglesias, R., & Bryce, C. (2016). Inequality Explained: The hidden gaps in Canada’s education system.

2 Millar, C., Lafrenière, A., Lebreton, J., de Quimper, C. (2016). Our Kids, Their Story…Snapshot of Developmental Health at School Entry in Ottawa 2005-2015.

Maps and Data related to the Social and Human Development Domain

Featured Resources

DATA: Education and Learning Theme

By the Ottawa Community Foundation.

Find data and indicators related to education & learning in Ottawa.

EXTERNAL LINK: Early Child Development Resources

Ottawa Child and Youth Initiative

Early Childhood Development Resources: First Words, Literature Review, Workshop Follow-ups

Data: Childcare Registry and Waitlist Data

through the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study

Children registered on the Child Care Registry and Waitlist are de-identified and aggregated at a neighbourhood level to represent child care needs in neighbourhoods.

EXTERNAL LINK: Early Years Best Start Resources

by Health Nexus

A variety of resources that range from fact sheets, brochures, decals, posters, videos to program planning guides and reports.

LINK: The Equity Knowledge Network

RSEKN connects teacher candidates, teachers, administrators, researchers, and community groups who share a commitment to removing barriers to equity and inclusion for marginalized and racialized children and youth.

EXTERNAL LINK: Equitable and Inclusive Education Project

Social Planning Network of Ontario

Achieving Equity and Inclusion for Children Affected by Poverty

Neighbourhood Equity in Action: Social Development Domain

Find out what others are doing to improve social equity in Ottawa.  Reach out directly to get involved.

City of Ottawa’s Public Engagement Calendar:  Find opportunities for engagement

The Ottawa Child and Youth Initiative’s interactive and engaging Homework Club Community of Practice sessions bring together

Learn more about what the Ottawa Carleton District School Board is doing to promote equity and diversity in schools and community.

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