Blog

HELP's Response to Minister Conroy's Letter Outlining Changes to Early Years Funding in BC

We wanted to be in touch following the recent formal communication from the Minister of Child and Family Development on June 12, 2018 regarding the redirection of early years funding for the Success by 6 and Children First initiatives, toward services for young children and families, that will occur on March 31, 2019.

We recognize the courage of the Office of the Early Years in taking action to address the complexity in Early Years coordination funding. Their initiative to embed early years capacity within the public service is an important step in this direction and in supporting child well-being more generally.

It is clear that, in the coming year, there will be some substantial changes in early years structures across the Province. We can imagine how challenging this may be for the many people who will be impacted by the change. As we move forward, we will continue to support early years community partners to maintain and grow momentum in their collective action for improving the well-being of children and families in BC. We are committed to this.

The impending changes will require HELP to substantially rethink our EDI (and MDI) Trainer Networks and the networks of partners and colleagues ...

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First Ever MDI Kids Advisory Group

May 25th was an exciting day for everyone at HELP as Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl and a number of HELPers hosted twenty-five Grade 6 and 7 students from Sir James Douglas Elementary School for the first ever MDI Kids Advisory Group.

“I have been wanting to host a Kids Advisory Group since the MDI was first started,” Kim shared with the students. “Thank you for making my dreams come true.”

Students were divided into four teams and rotated through stations based on specific components of the MDI: Well-being, Important Adults, Nutrition and Sleep and After-school Time. The stations were designed to generate feedback and encourage students to share their thoughts on current MDI findings as well as their insights regarding key themes of the MDI. Through this, the team was able to learn how students viewed their own and their peers’ experiences in middle childhood. Above all, this special opportunity has reinvigorated HELP’s core passion of respecting children’s voices.

 A big thank you to Sean Smith and his class for participating. We can’t wait to host another session next year.


June MDI Webinar! Well-Being After School: Children tell us how they spend their time

How children spend their after-school hours contributes significantly to their overall well-being. The Middle Years Development Instrument lets children tell us how they currently fill these hours, what activities they want to engage in, and which barriers stand in their way.

Join HELP Director Kim Schonert-Reichl for a live webinar on June 12 where she'll reveal our latest analysis of MDI data regarding out-of-school time in the Lower Mainland. This webinar will also feature a special guest to share on-the-ground experiences of supporting thriving after school.

This webinar is open to anyone across Canada with an interest in the research, policy and practice supporting out-of-school time for children. Register today!


UPDATES! Collaborative Action: A National Symposium for Child Well-being in the Middle Years

How are our children doing right now, and how is this changing over time? The MDI tells us so much, but what else is there to learn? Who can we learn it from? How can we be more effective in our goals of enhancing children’s social and emotional wellbeing?

We think the time to answer these questions is now!

Register today for Collaborative Action: A National Symposium for Child Well-being in the Middle Years and help us answer them.

This special, two day HELP event – hosted at the University of British Columbia August 20 & 21, 2018 – is designed to inspire, motivate and strengthen participant’s leadership skills by focusing on child well-being through a systems-thinking lens.

We are excited to gather together leaders in the field of child well-being from across Canada including Dr. Jean Clinton, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behaviourals Neurosciences, McMaster University, Dr. Mark T. Greenberg, Edna Peterson Bennett Endowed Chair in Prevention Research, Professor of Human Development and Psychology, Penn State, Dr. Michael Ungar, Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience and Professor of Social Work at Dalhousie University, and our own Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl.

NEW SPEAKERS
We are also excited to ...

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Elder Jessie Nyberg retires from HELP Aboriginal Steering Committee

It is with great sadness that we share the news that Jessie Nyberg has retired as Elder of HELP’s Aboriginal Steering Committee.  It has been such an honour to work with her over the years and we will miss her wisdom and leadership greatly. 

Jessie has been a member of our Aboriginal Steering Committee (ASC) for over fifteen years. Recruited by Clyde himself, she has been an integral member of HELP from the beginning. Her commitment and dedication have been awe-inspiring. She has brought her passion for cultural safety to all of HELP’s research tools, implementation, and knowledge translation.  Her care for all Indigenous children and families has inspired us, and she has always reminded us that many are living away from their home communities in urban areas. Her knowledge has helped to guide HELP to where we are today. 

In addition to her role as the ASC’s Elder, Jessie has previously been involved with the Vernon First Nations Friendship Centre, School District 22’s Targeted Funds Committee, the Okanagan Aboriginal Health Research Action Group, the Vernon Urban Elders Group, and the First Nations Health Curriculum Advisory Council of UBC Okanagan. Jessie is currently on the board ...

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Three BC Communities Chosen to Participate in Systems Leadership Initiative

The Human Early Learning Partnership is pleased to announce the selection of three BC communities to participate in the “Growing Systems Leadership Initiative”. The successful communities are Gold River, Prince George and Surrey. The communities were selected following an extensive application process. Participants from these three communities represent a variety of public and non-profit organizations that providing services to young children and families. Coming together, they will participate in an intensive training program that aims to strengthen capacity in compassionate leadership and systems thinking. The project is funded by the Max Bell Foundation.

Background
The path to healthy development for children in Canadian society is becoming increasingly complicated, and there are reasons to be concerned. For too many of our children, the path to a healthy adulthood has become broken. The systems we have designed to support Canadian children and families are simply not doing an effective job and in many communities our young people are in crisis.
There is not at present an integrated system for children, nor are there mechanisms that effectively bridge the distinct systems that serve children and families. Our challenge is to create a system that reflects children’s developmental needs and provides seamless care ...

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2017/18 MDI School District & Community Reports are online

MDI School District & Community Reports for 2017/18 participating districts are now online. These reports provide a comprehensive overview of MDI results for your school district, and profiles and maps for each neighbourhood in your district. Reports are easily accessible and shareable via our website. 

We encourage you to explore your School District & Community Reports alongside our companion resource, Discover MDI: A Field Guide to Promoting Well-Being in Middle Childhood. This online resource provides a supported, step-by-step journey that will help you gain familiarity with the MDI measures, make sense of your MDI data and guide approaches to building dialogue and action within school communities. In the Field Guide you’ll find:

  • Core information on the MDI and what the tool measures;
  • Resources to help you introduce the MDI to staff, community partners, parents and students, including videos and presentation supports;
  • Evidence-based ideas to promote well-being in areas of children’s health and development in school, home and community: and
  • Tools for inquiry-based meetings or workshops to explore and consider MDI data with others.

Coming Up
Register today for our May 23rd  ‘Data is Meant to be Shared: Making the most of the 2017-18 MDI School District and Community Reports ...

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In Memory - Angelo Lam

We are saddened to share that a spirited friend and colleague, Angelo Lam, passed away in April 2018. Angelo is remembered by HELP faculty and staff for his generous and kind nature, optimistic spirit and commitment to building a better world for children. He has been a leader in advocating for children’s rights and a catalyst for community development in the Tri-Cities region for many years.

Angelo has also been a champion of the MDI since the early days of the project. His worked has contributed to an increased awareness of the importance of middle childhood in BC, and has demonstrated the value of using MDI data to promote dialogue, connect people across communities and focus investments on children and families.

HELP will continue to honour Angelo’s work by building on his approaches of collaboration and inclusivity, and sharing the impacts of his lasting work in BC communities. See below to learn more about Angelo’s important work.


Register today! Data is Meant to be Shared: Making the most of the 2017-18 MDI School District and Community Reports webinar

The Middle Years Development Instrument finds its highest purpose when it spurs conversation and supports planning for well-being in classrooms, schools and communities. On May 23rd, join HELP for a live webinar to celebrate the release of this year's MDI Reports.

During the webinar we will provide a quick overview of report access and structure, share our best tips for sharing the data within, and feature two special guests whose stories highlight the impact of sharing MDI data. Register today. 


Registration is Open! Collaborative Action: A National Symposium for Child Well-being in the Middle Years

HELP continues our tradition of hosting innovative, quality events that focus on research-to-practice perspectives with Collaborative Action: A National Symposium for Child Well-being in the Middle Years.

This special, two day HELP event – hosted at the University of British Columbia August 20 & 21, 2018 – is designed to inspire, motivate and strengthen participant’s leadership skills by focusing on child well-being through a systems-thinking lens. We are excited to gather together leaders in the field of child well-being from across Canada including Dr. Jean Clinton, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behaviourals Neurosciences, McMaster University, Dr. Mark T. Greenberg, Edna Peterson Bennett Endowed Chair in Prevention Research, Professor of Human Development and Psychology, Penn State, Dr. Michael Ungar, Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience and Professor of Social Work at Dalhousie University, and our own Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl.

Working together, participants and presenters will share research and practice, learn from each other, and generate new ideas. Join us to enhance your effectiveness as a champion for child well-being and to network with colleagues from across Canada.

Who should attend?
• Professionals and practitioners whose focus is in whole or part on middle childhood and who are dedicated to promoting ...

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Expression of Interest - GROW AHS in BC

The Aboriginal Head Start Association of BC (AHSABC) and the Province of BC are working in partnership to create opportunities to GROW AHS in BC. The Indigenous Child Care Expansion is providing new funding to provide fully operational AHS child care services with wrap-around family support for:

a)  Communities in BC with Aboriginal Head Start programming who wish to expand AHSUNC (off-reserve/urban) programs to include child care; and 

b)  Communities in BC with no existing Aboriginal Head Start programming who need childcare.

Funding for Growing AHS in BC is available to support Capital and Operating costs for the development and delivery of NEW licensed AHS Child Care Services in URBAN locations.

Interested Urban, Non-profit, Aboriginal Organizations must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) before April 30, 2018. Visit the AHSABC website to learn more and view the EOI and Principles and Guideline PDFs. 


HELP Talks: Child-Well-being Through an Indigenous Lens

We are pleased to share that the UBC Learning Circle is live streaming our April 18th HELP Talks, Child-Wellbeing Through an Indigenous Lens. Co-hosted with the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), this research gathering will explore the topic of Child Well-being from the perspective of both Indigenous and western ways of knowing. The morning will reflect a two-eyed seeing approach to child health research. We will offer you a rich opportunity to learn several ways of understanding how to improve children’s health in all BC communities.

Please visit the UBC Learning Circle website to learn more and register for the live streaming. 


You're Invited! MDI Participation 2018/2019 with New Implementation Dates

An invitation to participate in the Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI) project for the 2018/2019 school year has been sent to school districts across British Columbia. Have you ever wanted to participate? Now is your chance.

The MDI is a scientifically validated self-report survey that asks students in Grade 4 and 7 about their feelings and experiences inside and outside of school in areas related to social and emotional competence and development (e.g., happiness, optimism, empathy, self-regulation, worries, sadness), health (e.g., sleep, nutrition), after school activities, and school success (e.g., school climate, victimization, future aspirations, school motivation). The information gathered on the MDI corresponds to the latest research in the field of social and emotional learning (SEL) that supports the premise that children’s social and emotional competence not only predicts academic success in school but also predicts a range of important outcomes in late adolescence and adulthood, including physical health and overall well-being.

To date, more than half of all BC school districts have administered the MDI, with over 86,000 Grade 4 and 7 students participating since 2010. Many BC school districts implement the MDI over multiple years as a way to track the ...

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April MDI Webinar! Making Change through Conversation: New MDI Workshop Materials

Are you ready to spark conversations and work to make change in your classroom, school, neighbourhood or community? Could you use a little help to kickstart this process? Join Tracy Smyth and Tammy Dewar, from Ready to Raise, and the MDI team for a live webinar on April 25th - 3:30 PM PDT - to learn more about our new, three part Making Change Workshop materials.

Produced by Tracy and Tammy in collaboration with HELP, the materials were created based on an appreciative approach to change. The webinar will provide an opportunity to walk through the three workshops as well as answer your questions about hosting engaging conversations and building action teams around MDI data.

Register today! This webinar is open to everyone, so please feel free to share the registration links and invite others in your school and community who also work to support well-being in the middle years.

Save the date! MDI webinars have also been planned for May and June. Please see titles, dates and registration details below. More information will be added as it is confirmed. 

Data is Meant to Be Shared: 2017-2018 School District & Community Reports
May 23rd, 3:30 PM PDT
Register for the May ...

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Dr. Alison Gerlach joining School of Child and Youth Care in the Faculty of Human and Social Development at the University of Victoria

We are excited to announce that Dr. Alison Gerlach, who is an Honorary Research Associate at HELP, will be joining the School of Child and Youth Care in the Faculty of Human and Social Development at the University of Victoria as a tenure-track Assistant Professor, beginning August 1st, 2018. In this position, Alison will continue to focus her scholarship and research on policy and practice interventions that address issues of social justice and health equity for families and young children in partnership with communities and early years programs. Alison will also provide leadership to the School’s early years specialization and supervision of graduate students.

Congratulations Alison.


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