Information for Community Program Planning*

What is research? Research is a process of investigation. It helps us to acquire new knowledge, answer questions and make informed decisions.


Why use research?

  • To develop programs and policies, using best practices and lessons learned by like-initiatives
  • To support and justify decisions about your programs
  • To reflect on current practices
  • To investigate new practices, programs and strategies
  • To make effective changes to your program to improve outcomes
  • To inform future program planning

Sources of Research and Resources



The Community Information of Ottawa provides information and referral services, in English and in French, to individuals and professionals in Ottawa. They have recently launched their 211 phone number, which provides information about community, social, governmental and health services available in Ottawa.





The Community Services Inventory collects information about programs and services for children 0-6 and their parents and caregivers, identifying how accessible and available services are to families. This information is used to create the "Incredible Directory" and is available online for information and referral purposes. A report is available summarizing the results of the 2005 Inventory.



The EDI is a population-based tool, measuring a neighbourhood or city's capacity to prepare children for school. The checklist measures five domains of school readiness: Physical Health and Well-Being, Social Competence, Emotional Maturity, Cognitive and Language Skills, and Communication and General Knowledge. It helps identify in which domains children are ready for school or vulnerable in order to increase and improve programs for families. For more information about School Readiness and the EDI, please consult the Offord Centre website.



The Ottawa Neighbourhood Study examines the impact that neighbourhoods have on our overall health. The study divided the city into 86 Ottawa Neighbourhood Study neighbourhoods, based on natural boundaries, roadways, and social boundaries. A profile of each neighbourhood was developed based on demographics, food security, socioeconomic status, civic participation, self-rated health, hospitalization, emergency room visits, reproductive health, green space, recreational opportunities, housing and a of summary strengths and weaknesses of the neighbourhood.




The Parent Resource Centre has been serving families in Ottawa for over 3 decades. They provide information and referral to parents and professionals, drop-in and outreach programs to children, parents and caregivers and also house the Early Learning Specialists and Program Effectiveness Data Analysis Coordinators of Eastern Ontario.  The Parent Resource Centre aims to increase the community's capacity to raise their children. On the website, you will find the Incredible Directory, a listing of programs, services and workshops offered city-wide as well as links to resources and research relevant to the Early Years Sector.




The Social Planning Council of Ottawa-Carleton offers a large number of reports on various social issues in the Ottawa-Carleton area. Topics include new Canadians, people with disabilities, poverty and more.





Statistics Canada collects information about the economy, population, culture and trends in Canada, with the intent to help Canadians understand their country. This information is widely used by government, businesses and non-profit organizations to help guide planning and decision-amking. On the Statistics Canada site, you will find mapping resources and community profiles that provide information by geographic area. Also, the Daily provides brief and concise results from studies on a variety of topics such as children's activity levels, Aboriginal people, health indicators and trends in Canadian society.




The goal of Success By 6 is to offer all children the best possible start in life, promoting physical, social and emotional readiness to learn. They help to support existing local programs, identifying gaps in services and help develop new programs for children and families. On their site, you will find local mapping reports, describing children's school readiness by neighbourhood, socioeconomic maps and Community Service Inventory maps. Also, there are links to local initiatives, Best Start planning table network and other documents.




Understanding the Early Years (UEY) is a Canada-wide research project that gathers information about Senior Kindergarten children, their families and their communities. On this site, you will find mapping reports relating to the EDI, CSI and socioeconomic information about the neighbourhoods.


This Success By 6 community website offers: free websites for early childhood development organizations in Eastern Ontario, easy to use administration tools for updates and a means to connect and share with other early years programs.


Child Care Information is a bilingual, non-profit information and referral service on early learning and child care. The program has been mandated by the City of Ottawa to manage the Child Care Centralized Waiting List for all Licensed Child Care Centres and Home Child Care Agencies withing the City of Ottawa boundaries. For families seeking licensed child care spaces, the Centralized Waiting List greatly simplifies the process by allowing parents/guardians to register their child or children on the waiting list of several child care services in one step.


*Some of the content from this section was taken from a document produced by the Government of Ontario and the Parent Resource Centre. For more information about these and other resources available for program planning, please contact the Program Effectiveness Data Analysis Coordinators at the Parent Resource Centre (telephone: (613) 565 2467 ext. 240).

Supporting documents

Ottawa Census Neighbourhoods Map
Ottawa Census Neighbourhoods.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 2.1 MB
Sample Networking Sheet
Sample Networking Sheet.rtf
Text Document 52.0 KB
Connecting Families to Community Resources
Connecting Families to Community Resourc
Microsoft Word Document 128.0 KB
Sample Newsletter Template
Sample newsletter template.doc
Microsoft Word Document 126.5 KB