Martha Friendly

Founder and Executive Director of the Childcare Resource and Research Unit

Century Initiative
Expert Panel Member


Martha Friendly is the founder and executive director of the Childcare Resource and Research Unit (CRRU), Canada’s primary policy research institute on early childhood education and child care. CRRU, which began at the University of Toronto’s Urban Centre, has been an independent non-profit organization since 2007. Martha, who has worked on ECEC research since before she immigrated to Canada from the US in 1971, has substantial expertise in policy analysis in ECEC and family policy in Canada and internationally. She has published extensively on ECEC in academic, technical and popular venues, has authored two books on ECEC policy and is a frequent commentator in the media. Martha has received a number of awards recognizing her contributions to Canadian child care including a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal and an honourary doctorate from Trent University in 2015.