Our HELP Coffee Talk series is back!

We are excited to announce our HELP Coffee Talk series is back! Please join later this month when Dr. Eva Oberle, Assistant Professor, HELP and SPPH, will be joined by Dr. Mariana Brussoni, Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia Scientist with the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the BC Injury Research & Prevention Unit, and Megan Zeni, teacher, author, PhD Student, Faculty of Education, UBC, and Room to Play Consultant to discuss the importance of outdoor play and learning, particularly in the pandemic. 

1 Guest, 3 Questions, in 30 Minutes!

HELP Coffee Talks is a virtual series featuring a HELP faculty member speaking with an expert in the field of child well-being and child development who is also a friend, colleague, or collaborator of HELP. Each 30 minute chat explores - via 3 questions – the latest research and also practical strategies people can use in their daily lives, especially those working with children or who have children themselves. 

August 25th – A Conversation with Dr. Mariana Brussoni 
Dr. Oberle is pleased to welcome friend and colleague Dr. Mariana Brussoni. Together, Eva and Mariana twill discuss ...

read more

A Warm Welcome to HELP's New Interim Director, Dr. Martin Guhn

Dr. Kimberly Schonert-ReichlThis week we say a big thank you to Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl as her five-year tenure as HELP's Director comes to a close. HELP faculty, staff and students wish to extend their gratitude to Dr. Schonert-Reichl for stepping into the role of Director in 2015 and leading the institute through a critical period of uncertainty, and then growth. Dr. Schonert-Reichl will remain an important part of HELP, as a continuing Associate Faculty member of HELP and the Principal Investigator of the MDI.  She will also continue her faculty role with UBC Faculty of Education, and is committed to the relationships and partnerships she has worked so hard to develop over many years. 

Dr. Martin GuhnWe are also very pleased to announce that Dr. Martin Guhn has been appointed as the Interim Director of HELP.  Dr. Guhn has been with HELP for 17 years in a variety of roles, most recently as Assistant Professor. Dr. Guhn has a deep and broad knowledge of HELP’s child development monitoring system, having engaged in research using Early Development Instrument (EDI) and Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI) data since his early years at HELP. He is also the Principal Investigator for the Toddler Development Instrument ...

read more

In Focus with Dr. Barry Forer

If you are a long-time collaborator with Human Early Learning Partnership, then you will certainly know the name, Dr. Barry Forer. Barry, a research methodologist and statistician specializing in early childhood development, has worked in the field since 1986, when he filled in as a lecturer for Research Methods and Statistics class at the University of Victoria’s School of Child Care. “It turns out that there were very few quantitative researchers in child care,” Barry shares with a chuckle. “I have never lacked for research opportunities since those early days.”  

Last year Barry was recognized for his knowledge, experience and dedication to this research stream with an appointment to the Government of Canada’s Expert Panel on Early Learning and Child Care Data and Research.

According to the Government of Canada Expert Panel website: “The Expert Panel brings together a diverse group of 14 members [three representatives from National Indigenous Organization have since joined the group] who will provide valuable advice and input to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development on a range of early learning and child care issues that will in turn inform the data and research strategy.”Further, “the Expert Panel will act as ...

read more

HELP Coffee Talks Recordings

1 Guest, 3 Questions, in 30 Minutes 

Thank you to everyone who participated in our first ever HELP Coffee Talks series. This event was our first ever virtual series. We hope we achieved our goals of connecting with you and sharing important, relevant information related to the challenges of the COVID-19 context.

We also wish to thank our guests, Dr. Molly Lawlor and Dr. Lara Boyd. It was a pleasure to host them, share information and learn from each of them. The HELP team has recorded each session and videos have been posted to HELP’s YouTube channel. Please find direct links below. We will post Dr. Patricia Jennings' session recording once it is complete and the video is ready to share. 

A Conversation with Dr. Molly Lawlor

Molly Stewart Lawlor, Ph.D, is an expert in child and adolescent social and emotional development. Listen as Molly and Kim discuss social and emotional learning strategies as they relate to equality and anti-racism as well as a way to help parents and their children as they meet the challenges related to COVID-19. VIEW HERE

MindUp -
MindYeti -
WE Well-being - https://www ...

read more

Broken Places Thank You and Additional Resources

 On the behalf of Dr. Schonert-Reichl, Dr. Alisa Almas, our Deputy Director, Pippa Rowcliffe, and the whole HELP team, thank you to everyone who participated in our HELP Talks Broken Places screening and discussion.

The movie and discussion is potentially challenging and may trigger a strong emotional response. We would like to share the following resources in case additional support is needed.


Additional Resources

Please find below some additional resources mentioned in the documentary and during the post screening discussion. 


30 Years Ago, Romania Deprived Thousands of Babies of Human Contact. Here is what happened to them.
The Atlantic Magazine (July/August 2020). 

The Importance of Early Child Development (2010 HELP YouTube) 

The Childhood Experiences Questionnaire (CHEQ) 

The Centre on the Developing Child
       Serve and Return 
       Toxic Stress 

Children and Youth Living with Family Violence During the COVID 19 Crisis
This is a resource for educators who are looking for ways they might support students at risk and at a distance. 

The Orchid and the Dandelion: Why Sensitive Children Face Challenges and How All Can Thrive (book)
W. Thomas Boyce, MD

The Orchid and Dandelion with W. Thomas Boyce

How childhood ...

read more

Broken Places Film Screening and Expert Discussion Panel

Thursday, June 18, 2020
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm PST
Virtual Zoom Event

We are excited to host a special screening of the documentary film, Broken Places, followed by a discussion panel moderated by Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, Professor and Director at the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP), UBC. We wish to hold this event in honour of Dr. W. Thomas (Tom) Boyce, professor emeritus at HELP, who is interviewed in the film for his lifelong work in the area of child resiliency.

Film Synopsis
Why are some children permanently damaged by early adversity while others are able to thrive? To help answer this question, filmmaker Roger Weisberg dug into his extensive film archives to update a few of the stories of the abused and neglected children he filmed decades ago. Viewers are given a unique time-lapse perspective on how the trauma that these children experienced shaped their lives as adults. Broken Places interweaves these longitudinal narratives with commentary from a few nationally renowned experts in neurobiology and early childhood development in order to illuminate the devastating impact of childhood adversity.

Please email with your first and last name by Friday, June 12. We will follow ...

read more

NEW! HELP Coffee Talks

We are excited to announce a new, virtual series - HELP Coffee Talks. This event is an effort to build new ways of connecting and sharing during the challenging COVID-19 context.

1 Guest, 3 Questions, in 30 Minutes!

This online series will feature a HELP faculty member speaking with an expert in the field of child well-being and child development who is also a friend, colleague, or collaborator of HELP. In our first series, hosted by Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, each 30 minute chat will explore - via 3 questions - a topic relevant to the current COVID-19 context, focusing on both the science and practical strategies people can implement in their daily lives to help us cope and manage in the current context.

June 12, 9:00AM PST
Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl will kick off this series off on June 12 with a conversation with Dr. Molly Lawlor. Molly Stewart Lawlor, Ph.D, is an expert in child and adolescent social and emotional development. She and Kim will discuss social and emotional learning strategies as a way to help parents and their children meet the challenges of this context.
Zoom Registration link:

June 18, 9:00AM PST ...

read more

Latest MDI School District & Community Reports are online.

On behalf of Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl , we are excited to share that Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI) School District & Community Reports for 2019/2020 are now available. The BC School District and Community reports provide a comprehensive overview of MDI results for participating school districts, including Neighbourhood Profiles and maps.

Data Highlights 2019/2020: Improvements to the MDI
To address an increased focus on children’s mental and physical health, we reviewed existing research and consulted with education and health experts to identify and add two additional questions to the MDI that asked children to report on their “Help-seeking for Emotional Well-being” and “Transportation To and From School.” Specifically, these new questions asked children about their help-seeking behaviours (“who they would talk to if they were feeling sad, stressed, or worried”) and about school transportation (“how they get to and from school, and how they wish to get to and from school”). Children’s answers to these questions can provide educators, parents, and other community stakeholders with the critical information they need to support children’s social and emotional health, and physical activity. To reflect changes in how health is currently conceptualized, we removed two questions on the MDI that ...

read more

Registration is open for our May 27th MDI Webinar!

Understanding and Supporting the Well-being of Children in Middle Childhood: Recent Data Trends from the Middle Years Development Instrument

Date and Time: Wednesday, May 27 from 3:15 to 4:15

Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI) School District & Community Reports for 2019/2020 will be released the week of May 25th. Supporting the well-being of children in our schools and communities is more important now than ever before. MDI data are meant to spur conversations and support planning for children’s well-being, social and emotional learning, and resiliency in classrooms, schools, families, and communities. Dr. Kim Schonert-Reichl will share the latest MDI findings, highlight some important data trends, and discuss these in the context of the current pandemic. She will also provide examples and practical strategies of how MDI data can be used at the school, school district, and community level for supporting the well-being of our children. We will be joined by special guest Gail Markin, Social Emotional Learning Support K-12 for the Langley School District. Gail will share her experience using the MDI to support child well-being in Langley and throughout BC.

Registration:  hxxps://

* Please note that due to new UBC ...

read more

HELP’s Commitment to Support Communities

Now is a time like no other for us to be focusing our attention on children’s health and well-being. The stress and disruption brought about by COVID-19 are of real concern. All children and families, but particularly those that are more vulnerable, are at risk of experiencing increased challenges. Understanding the short-term impact of COVID-19 is essential. It is also critical to continue to collect data that help us reflect and understand the long-term impacts of the pandemic on BC’s children and families. 

To this end, we expect to continue to work in partnership with school districts and community partners to collect population-level data through the Toddler Development Instrument (TDI), the Childhood Experiences Questionnaire (CHEQ), Early Development Instrument (EDI), and Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI). Our questionnaires provide opportunities to hear from parents and caregivers directly about their child’s experiences and their family’s challenges during this time (CHEQ), from teachers about observations of vulnerabilities for children in Kindergarten (EDI), and to hear from children themselves about their self-reported well-being and the assets in their lives that will be valuable as they navigate through this unprecedented time (MDI).

We are working closely with school districts involved in ...

read more

HELP and the Challenges of COVID-19

To HELP’s valued friends and partners,

We wanted to take a few minutes and share how HELP is adapting to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

We are attempting to keep things as close to business-as-usual as we can. Currently, all of our staff and faculty are working remotely, maintaining as normal operations as possible. This week we are ensuring our teams are set up to work from home and are taking full advantage of the technology available to connect with our each other and colleagues and partners. Zoom is our new best friend! Please don’t hesitate to reach out or send an email if you have questions about any of our research, data or your reports…...or if you just want to check in. We would love to hear from you. Staying connected is a huge part of how we will come through this well.

Here are some important updates about our HELP engagement and events calendar:

  • We will continue with all of our scheduled webinars and virtual office hours;
  • We are starting to plan additional, digital events and touchpoints to ensure we remain connected and learning forward;
  • All scheduled community presentations and meetings for the Spring ...

read more

Webinar Recording - The MDI and After School Time

We are pleased to share the recording of the MDI and After School Time: Connecting Research and Practice to Support Children’s Well-being webinar HERE.

Listen to Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, Dr. Eva Oberle and Peter Dubinsky, Director of Learning, School District 10 Arrow Lakes, explore using data from the Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI) to support children’s well-being during after and out of school time. 

Community Data at Work: Exploring Patterns and Trends in the Early Years Video

We are pleased to share our latest EDI resource - Community Data at Work: Exploring Patterns and Trends in the Early Years, a video that walks viewers through Wave 7 Community Profiles, highlighting key data and providing tips about how to interpret the data.

A number of EDI resources are mentioned in the video including discussion questions and examples of complementary data. We have gathered these resources together into a Video Resources – Community Data at Work document that can be found HERE. This page also includes a link to a number of EDI maps and resources, as well as the BC Early Development Instrument (EDI) Wave 7 Provincial Report, released in November 2019.

Virtual Office Hours
Do you have questions about your EDI Community Profile? Sign up for an individual video conference Virtual Office Hours. A member of HELP’s Early Years team will connect with you online using Zoom, walk through your community’s Profile with you, discuss the data and answer any questions you may have. You can always contact us with your questions but these Virtual Office Hour video conferences provide an opportunity to really dig in. 

Sessions are available from March to June. They are a maximum ...

read more

Thank You! 2019/2020 EDI and MDI Administration and Collection is complete!

A warm thank you to teachers, students, school administrators, school district staff and parents for your support and contributions to both the Early Development Instrument (EDI) and Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI) during the 2019/2020 administration and collection. We could not undertake these projects without you. 

Middle Years Development Instrument

Over 25,000 Grade 4 and Grade 7 students from across the country shared their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in school and in the community. By sharing information about their daily habits, feelings, relationships, and environments, we honour their voices and enable them to work with us to support their development.

Early Development Instrument

This year we collected EDI results for over 20,000 children in BC. Thanks to your contribution we are learning more about how our children are doing so we can support efforts to improve the health and well-being of ALL children in BC.

In addition to completing the first year of Wave 8, we completed our seventh wave of EDI data collection and released our 2019 BC EDI Wave 7 Provincial Report, Wave 7 Community Profiles, and corresponding interactive maps. EDI data are a foundation for furthering our understanding about children’s development in our ...

read more

Register for the next MDI Webinar today!

The Middle Years Development Instrument and After School Time: Connecting Research and Practice to Support Children's Well-being

Monday, March 9 from 10:15 to 11:15 

Join Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl to explore using data from the Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI) to support children’s well-being during after and out of school time.  We will be joined by two special guests!  Dr. Eva Oberle will talk about her latest research findings using MDI data to examine the connections between after school time and well-being. Peter Dubinsky will discuss how he has used MDI data to support schools and communities (both large and small) to work together to support children in the after school hours.


Can’t make it? Don’t worry! It will be available on our DiscoverMDI website a few days after the broadcast. You’ll be able to find the link here under Recorded Webinars and Online Training