Background/Why is this important?
The Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) at the University of British Columbia conducts population-level research on child development across BC. A key research tool is the Early Development Instrument (EDI), a questionnaire that is completed by kindergarten teachers throughout the province for all children in their classes. The EDI measures five core areas of early child development known to be good predictors of adult health, education and social outcomes.
Over the years, the data are showing an overall downward trend in EDI scores, particularly in the areas of social competence and emotional maturity. This reflects an increased vulnerability to poor developmental outcomes among BC’s children.
WHAT ACTIONS HAVE ALREADY BEEN TAKEN?
Child Health BC is the secretariat for the BC Healthy Child Development Alliance (the Alliance), a cross-sectoral coalition of more than 40 organizations in BC. The Alliance developed a training toolkit and materials for providers that focus on healthy social-emotional development of infants and toddlers. The materials have been incorporated into provincial resources and programs such as the Growing Together Toolkit, Healthy Families BC, the GP Practice Support Program Child & Youth Mental Health Module, and Family Resource Programs
Where are we now?
Currently, the BC Healthy Child Development Alliance has developed social and emotional development public messages for parents and caregivers. These messages aim to build awareness on the importance of social and emotional development in the early years, and provide parents and caregivers with concrete, actionable steps that they can do to support child development in this area. These messages are part of a large provincial campaign called “Feelings First” which will launch in May 2021. More info here.
Child Health BC now houses a wealth of video resources from KidCareCanada Society, an organization that focused on empowering parents to raise their children to be socially and emotionally healthy. We are very excited to continue to offer their evidence informed video library and resources on social and emotional development, and are thrilled and honoured to be stewards of this great work.
With almost 200 videos in the library, topics range from postpartum depression, to the role of new fathers, to language acquisition, and Baby Massage. These videos are all provided free of charge to parents and caregivers. These videos takes the science of Early Childhood Development and brings it to new parents in a visual format that is easy-to-understand, quick to watch, and evidence informed.
Child Health BC through Appetite to Play will continue to promote these wonderful resources so watch out for future posts on this fabulous content for parents!
See link to KidCareCanada.