Background/ Why Is This Important?
Supporting the healthy development of all children in British Columbia is a collective effort, requiring collaboration between a variety of health, social health, social, education, research and community organizations.
The BC Healthy Child Development Alliance (the Alliance) grew out of the 2004 Healthy Child BC Forum as a partnership of organizations that share a common interest in supporting healthy child development in the province.
What Actions Have Already Been Taken?
The BC Healthy Child Development Alliance's role is to provide leadership in, and be a resource to, the development and implementation of policies, strategies and preferred practices that support healthy child development. Child Health BC serves as the secretariat for the Alliance.
More than 40 organizational members work together through the Alliance. Notable projects include:
- Social & Emotional Development for Infants & Toddlers - The Alliance developed a provider training toolkit and supporting materials focusing on healthy social-emotional development of infants and toddlers. The materials have been incorporated into provincial resources and programs such as Growing Together Toolkit, Healthy Families BC, GP Practice Support Program Child & Youth Mental Health Module, and Family Resource Programs.
- Appetite to Play - The Alliance led the development of Appetite to Play, a provincial approach to support providers to promote and encourage healthy eating and physical activity environments within early years settings.
Where Are We Now?
BC Healthy Child Development Alliance activities are ongoing. Members meet bi-monthly to share resources, build connections across agencies and with ministries, and discuss opportunities to collaborate on promoting healthy child development. Members determine priority areas and form working groups to complete project work.
A major Alliance initiative launching in May 2021 is the Feelings First campaign. This is a 13 week campaign, involving close to 80 organizations, which will introduce important concepts around Social and Emotional Development (SED) in the early years, to parents and caregivers across British Columbia. The goal of this project is to develop and distribute engaging messages to the audience that will build awareness on what SED is and of its importance to early child development. Through sharing engaging content, some of the core themes that will be disseminated include: general SED awareness, parent-child connection / relationship building, language and communication and stress management.