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

Remembering Clyde Hertzman

Today we honour and remember a pioneer for children and families in BC and across Canada. We miss you Clyde. 

Wave 7 Community Profiles now available

HELP is pleased to announce the release of Early Development Instrument (EDI) Wave 7 Community Profiles.

The EDI has been used in BC since 2004 to collect information about children as they enter kindergarten on five domains of development: physical health and well-being, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive development, and communication skills.

The EDI Community Profiles highlight newly released EDI data from Wave 7 (data collected between 2016-2019) and also provide an overview of patterns and trends in early child development based on EDI data collected between 2004 and 2019 (Waves 2-7). These data are reported using children’s home postal codes and include all children who live within a school district’s boundaries. The profiles explore the short- and long-term EDI trends at the school district and neighbourhood-levels alongside provincial data intended to help communities situate local data in the broader BC context. 

New to the EDI or need refresher? Visit our EDI homepage to learn more about the Early Development Instrument. 

Find and view the EDI Community Profile Report for your area in the list of all BC communities HERE. This page also includes a link to a number of EDI maps and resources, as well ...

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January 23rd HELP Talks Webcast Recording

Thank you to everyone who attended our January HELP Talks presentation, Child Care in British Columbia: Research, Advocacy, and Commitment to System Transformation. We are pleased to share that the webcast was recorded and can be viewed HERE.

In addition, both Jane Beach and Lynell  Anderson have shared their PowerPoint slides as PDF.  Links are included in the presentation descriptions below.  


Historically, in BC, as in most of Canada, regulated child care has been in short supply, of varying quality and unaffordable for many families. Recently, however, child care in BC is undergoing a paradigm shift with the current provincial government’s commitment to developing a universal child care system for all who need or want it. For this HELP Talk, we are fortunate to have two of BC’s foremost child care experts, Jane Beach and Lynell Anderson. They will tell the story about how, through ongoing research and advocacy, we are now in the midst of substantial change in child care policy and programs in BC, with the potential for system transformation and a better life for families with young children. They will also discuss the elements necessary for a universal system, what progress has been made ...

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HELP Talks Making Space for Outdoor Play

Thursday, February 27th, 2020
9:30am to 12:00pm
In Person  Michael Smith Laboratories Lecture Theatre, Room 102
Vancouver Campus - UBC
2185 East Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada 
Webcast -

Play is essential to children’s health and well-being and we are excited to, once again, dive deep into this important topic this time with a focus on outdoor play.  Join us Thursday, February 27th, as we host Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter, Amber Fyfe-Johnson and Anita Bundy as they share the latest research related to the importance of children’s outdoor play for health and development and share strategies for supporting outdoor play.

Our February HELP Talks hosts are Dr. Eva Oberle, Assistant Professor, HELP, SPPH, UBC and Dr. Mariana Brussoni, Associate Professor, SPPH, Faculty of Medicine, UBC and Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, UBC.

Please RSVP and ask questions you may have to Maria Roser at

Our Guest Speakers

Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter, Professor, Department of Physical Education and Health, Queen Maud University College of Early Childhood Education (QMUC) in Trondheim, Norway

Developing physical outdoor environments in early childhood education and care: How to promote children ...

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Kim Schonert-Reichl returning to full-time position in the Faculty of Education

As Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl’s appointment as Director of the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) in the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) at UBC ends June 30 2020, after much reflection, Kim has decided to step down and to not pursue a second term. She has decided to return to her full-time position as a professor in the Faculty of Education at UBC. This is a part of a typical academic transition following the end of a 5-year term in an administrative role as the director or head of a UBC research or academic unit.

Kim has thoroughly enjoyed her time as the Director of HELP, particularly as she has had the privilege of working with an amazing staff and faculty at HELP and an incredible group of smart, talented, and passionate individuals from across the province who are dedicated to improving the lives of children in BC and beyond.

We are excited for Kim. She will be able to increase the time and attention she dedicates to her teaching, graduate student supervision, and to advancing the science and practice of social and emotional learning (SEL). We know that she remains committed to improving the social and emotional ...

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2019 BC EDI Wave 7 Provincial Report

At HELP, we consider it a privilege to be able to gather and share important insights into the state of children’s development and well-being in BC. The foundation of HELP’s child development monitoring system are data gathered using the Early Development Instrument (EDI). The EDI questionnaire has been used in BC since 2004 to collect information about children as they enter kindergarten on five domains of development: physical health and well-being, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive development, and communication skills. In British Columbia, we now have one of the most extensive databases about children’s development and well-being, globally. EDI data continue to be a critical indicator of how the province is doing with regard to children’s early development and well-being.

This year we completed our seventh wave of EDI data collection. Our most recent 2019 BC EDI Wave 7 Provincial Report was released December 2nd. This report provides a review of the trends and patterns in children’s development across the province from 2004-2019.

Overall, the latest EDI data show that more children are vulnerable both on the summary measure “Vulnerable on One or More Scales,” and on each of the five scales of ...

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MDI collection begins January 15, 2020

January 15th marks the first day of MDI administration in British Columbia for the 2019/2020 school year and the MDI Implementation Team is busy, connecting with participating districts and rolling out the necessary resources including Survey Administrator Packages, Parent and Guardian Informed Passive Consent Letters and Info Sheets.

Twenty-seven districts are participating this year, three of which are new to the MDI – Quesnel, Abbotsford and Campbell River.

In addition to administration resources the MDI Team has updated and introduced some new parent specific resources. Some of the questions on the MDI might be on topics that are new to children and therefore might cause them to ask their parents and/or caregivers or teachers questions about these topics. A new MDI Questions Brief has been created in an effort to provide more information and background about the kinds of questions that are on the MDI. We have also updated the Parent Information Sheet, which outlines key information about the MDI including how it works, how the data is used and why the middle years matter.

We could not undertake the MDI Project without the support and dedication of teachers, administrators and the children themselves. Thank you to all teachers ...

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Early Years Conference 2020 is fast approaching

...and HELP will be there

The Early Years Conference 2020 will take place January 30 &  31 and February 1, 2020 at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver. This event continues to lead the field of professional development in early childhood development, early childhood intervention, and family support. It is your opportunity to explore the complex factors impacting children’s development and highlight many of the considerations and practices in our work with young children and their families. This year’s theme – Listen Together, Learn Together, Act Together – is a call to action. It is a reminder that families and communities are central to the healthy development of young children. When Listening Together, Learning Together and Acting Together, we can create relationships that will best optimize the well-being and resilience of children.

HELP is pleased to, once again, host a pre-conference workshop as part of the Early Years Conference program. Changing Early Childhood Experiences through System Change will explore new approaches to reducing early childhood social and emotional vulnerability (as described using EDI data) and improve health and well-being for all children. The focus of the workshop is twofold. First, presenters will highlight how we can better understand children’s early social and ...

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Thank You

On behalf of faculty and staff, I want so share a warm HELP thank you to everyone who attended HELP’s Fall Expo 2019 – either in person or via webcast. We know there are many competing priorities requiring your time and energy, each and every day. We appreciate that you choose to spend your time with us at Fall Expo to support our collaborative work together. This event continues to get better and better in part because of your participation and contribution.

The morning presentations were recorded and are available HERE. We continue to collect PPT slides (PDF) and some of the resources our presenters mentioned. Please see our list to date below:

Meanwhile...Trends in the EDI patterns beyond BC -  Dr. Magdalena Janus
Generation Squeeze: Getting to the bottom of whay EDI trends aren't getting better - Dr. Paul Kershaw 

You’ll hear from us again soon as we look ahead to sharing more EDI Wave 7 results with you in the coming weeks. Our EDI Wave 7 Provincial Report will be released late November. The EDI Community Profiles for all 59 school districts in BC will follow shortly, with an anticipated release date in early December. In addition ...

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Our MDI Webinar Series is back!

We are pleased to announce the first in a series of MDI focused webinars planned for 2019/20. Join us on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 for Back to School with the Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI): Promoting Resilience through Important Adults at School.

Settle into the new school year with Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl to discuss the importance of adults at school in the lives of students and five practical ways to connect with your new students. In addition to Kim sharing the latest research, our webinar special guests will share their experiences helping schools and community make use of MDI data.

Register today!

This webinar is open to everyone. Please share the registration links widely and invite those in your school and community who work to support well-being in the middle years.

MDI webinars are also planned for November, January, March and May. Information, including dates and topics, will be released soon. Follow the HELP Blog, @HELP_UBC on Twitter or HELP’s Facebook for news and announcements.

HELP Talks: Emotional Intelligence with Dr. Marc Brackett

October 28th, 2019, Monday
9:30am to 12:00pm 
Michael Smith Laboratories Lecture Theatre, Room 102 *

We are excited and honoured to host Marc Brackett, founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and professor in the Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine at Yale University, for our October HELP Talks. 

Dr. Brackett’s presentation will focus on educating emotional intelligence for school-aged children, with specific reference to his new book, Permission To Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Achieve Optimum Well-being and Success.

Emotions matter. They inform our thinking and decisions, the quality of our relationships, our physical and mental health, and our creativity and everyday performance. What we do with our emotions is especially important. Dr. Brackett’s presentation will (1) inspire a new mindset around the power of emotions to transform our lives, (2) teach participants five key emotion skills, known as the “ RULER” skills, and (3) provide innovative strategies for developing emotion skills so that emotions help, rather than hinder, our well-being and success at home, school, and work.

Book sales and signing will be held after the talk. We look forward to seeing you October 28th. Please RSVP to eri.kikuchi ...

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Dr. Barry Forer appointed as a member of the Expert Panel on Early Learning and Child Care Data and Research

HELP is pleased to share that Barry Forer has been appointed as a member of the Government of Canada’s new Expert Panel on Early Learning and Child Care Data and Research.

The Government of Canada is investing in early learning and child care to help Canadian children get the best start in life and have a fair chance to succeed. In support of this commitment, have established an expert panel on early learning and child care data and research. The Expert Panel will act as a sounding board and a forum for in-depth discussion on issues related to early learning and child care information, data and research. Specifically, the panel's role will be to provide advice and recommendations in developing an early learning and child care data and research strategy that could include: 

  • identifying priority action areas;
  • identifying innovative approaches; and
  • aligning the objectives of the work with other Government priorities.

The Expert Panel brings together a diverse group of 14 members 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 ...

Your invitation: The EDI project 2019/20

HELP is pleased to invite school districts and independent schools to partner with us in the Early Development Instrument (EDI) project for the 2019-2020 school year. Information from the EDI has proven essential to educators, school districts, health professionals, early years care providers, and community members in planning programs and services for children and families.

To date, and since the inception of the EDI, we have collected data for over 291,000 Kindergarten students in BC. We have one of the world’s best data sets on children’s development as they start school. It wouldn’t be possible to have this robust set of data without involvement from school districts and independent schools.

For more information about the EDI or how to participate, please contact Brandon Schulmeister at or by phone at 604-822-3361. Brandon is happy to answer any questions you may have. Please note the deadline to participate is October 15, 2019.

THE CHEQ is in 15 School Districts this year

The Childhood Experiences Questionnaire – the CHEQ – continues to expand, rolling out in 15 school districts in British Columbia this September. We are excited to be working with schools in Southeast Kootenay, Rocky Mountain, Revelstoke, Quesnel, Richmond, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Powell River, Okanagan Similkameen, Alberni, the Comox Valley, Kamloops-Thompson, North Okanagan-Shuswap, Vancouver Island West and Nechako Lakes.

Parents of children entering Kindergarten in these districts will be invited to complete the CHEQ starting September 4th.* Watch for our Parent Meeting invitation.

The CHEQ captures important information on children’s experiences in their early environments with a focus on specific areas of development that are strongly linked to children’s health and well-being, education and social outcomes. This information can help communities understand how to support children and families prior to Kindergarten; it also helps schools with planning. If your district is participating this year and/or you want to find out more about the CHEQ, visit the CHEQ webpage.

Follow HELP on Twitter and watch for #CHEQItOut to learn more about the CHEQ and connect to resources that can help support children & families in building positive experiences in the early years.

* Please note that not all schools in these districts are participating.