Register Today! TWO HELP Expo Mini Series events

The HELP Virtual Expo Series continues with TWO  informative, engaging and interactive virtual presentations. Please join us on April 27th and May 10th for virtual sessions that will both showcase the latest research related to child development and provide an opportunity to connect and explore what this research may mean for children and families across the province.

Experiences Under the Skin: Journey from Infancy to Adolescence

April 27, 2021
9:30-11:00am PST

How does the social environment affect kids’ health and well-being as they grow? How can society support optimal social environments for our children? Join the conversation on April 27th with invited speaker, Sara Austin, Founder and CEO of Children First Canada, and Social Exposome Cluster researchers Dr. Joelle LeMoult, Assistant Professor and Director of the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Laboratory in the Department of Psychology, UBC, and Dr. Michael Kobor, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Social Epigenetics, Department of Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, UBC.

As the Founder and CEO of Children First Canada and one of “Top 25 Women of Influence”, Sara Austin is leading a national movement to make Canada the best place in the world for kids to grow up. She will highlight ...

read more

Sharing your MDI Data with Your School Community

Current research on the impacts of the pandemic on school-aged children are signalling an urgent and ongoing need to address the additional pressures on children’s mental health and well-being.  MDI School Reports, slated for release on April 22, 2021, provide school district administrators and staff with valuable insights about their students and their experiences both inside and outside of school this past year. At HELP we understand that sharing MDI school-level data comes with its own set of challenges – and we’re here to support you through this process. On April 22, join Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl as she shares key strategies and tools to engage school staff and students in exploring their MDI data, encourage conversation, identify strengths and challenges, and move from data to action. 

We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Schonert-Reichl will be joined by special guest Kate Kerr, Director of Instruction for Inclusive Education, School District 46 Sunshine Coast. Kate will share how the SD 46 team have connected with staff and students across the district in developing a staged approach to exploring their MDI data together. Kate will discuss their approaches to engaging students early on in the project cycle, and strategies for supporting ...

read more

Register Today! The impacts of COVID-19: What’s happening with BC’s children and families?

Date: Monday, March 8, 2021
Time: 9:30AM - 12:30PM (PST)
Location: Zoom. Please complete the registration to receive the Zoom link. 

Registration is open for the second session in HELP’s 2021 Virtual Expo Series. Join us on March 8th when, through presentation and dialogue, we will build our collective understanding of the impacts of COVID-19 on children and families.

The stress and disruption brought about by COVID-19 are immense. The research available to date is clear: the pandemic has exacerbated existing social and health inequities, and has had particularly significant impacts on our mental health and well-being. All children and families, but particularly those that are considered to be more vulnerable, are experiencing increased challenges in all facets of their lives, from social isolation and disrupted essential supports to food and economic insecurity. 

We’re in a time where the words ‘pivot’ and ‘unprecedented’ have come into daily use. And while we’re grappling to understand the full scope of the medium and long-term impacts of this pandemic, we can all see and feel the reverberations in the here and now. Through stories and data gathered from the multiple perspectives and experiences of parents and teachers, service providers ...

read more

HELP's Aboriginal Steering Committee is seeking new members

First established in 2003, HELP’s Aboriginal Steering Committee (ASC) is made up of community members with First Nation, Métis, and Inuit ancestry, including Elders. ASC members are vital to ensuring that HELP’s research has meaning for, and is consistent with, First Nation, Métis, and Inuit communities’ objectives and intentions for their children and families.

By sharing their knowledge and experience, ASC members support a deeper understanding of the social and cultural determinants of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children’s health and well-being. The ASC ensures HELP’s research activities involving First Nations, Métis, and Inuit are reflective of the diverse histories, cultures, languages, values and ways of knowing and being.

We need you to guide this important work forward. We are looking for creative and energetic individuals who share our common interest in improving developmental outcomes for all First Nation, Métis, and Inuit children in BC. 

If you are interested in joining the ASC, please submit your résumé, cover letter, and two references by email to Kinwa Bluesky, Senior Manager, Indigenous Initiatives, at

Learn more HERE. 

Registration is open! Join us for the first presentation in our Expo Series - February 8th

Registration is now open for the first event in our Winter 2021 Expo series. Please join us via Zoom Monday, February 8th for a morning dedicated to honouring the life and work of HELP’s co-founder, Dr. Clyde Hertzman. Honouring the Legacy of Clyde Hertzman: Reflections and Dialogue on 20 years of HELP’s Monitoring System will bring together friends and colleagues to share how Clyde’s legacy continues to influence child development in Canada. Join us as we reflect on the role Clyde played in creating a framework that links population health to human development, emphasizing the special role of early child development as a determinant of health. This session, a first in a series, will give us an opportunity to connect and contemplate together a better, post-COVID world.

Through various research insights and a unique and special dialogue session, Dr. Martin Guhn, Interim Director and Assistant Professor, HELP, SPPH, UBC, Dr. Magdalena Janus, Professor, SPPH, UBC and Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences and Offord Centre for Child Studies, McMaster University, and Dr. Paul Kershaw, Associate Professor, SPPH, UBC and Founder, Generation Squeeze, along with special guests Diana Elliott, Provincial Advisor for Aboriginal Infant Development Programs of ...

read more

HELP’s Expo series kicks off on February 8, 2021

Challenges and Change: Exploring ‘What is’ and ‘What could be’ for BC’s Children and Families

As a result of COVID-19, HELP is shifting our annual Expo online, planning a series of informative, engaging and interactive virtual presentations through the winter and spring. The series will provide an opportunity for HELP faculty, staff and Aboriginal Steering Committee members, along with our partners and collaborators, to share important information about what is happening right now for children and families in BC. Most importantly, it will provide everyone an opportunity to connect and contemplate together a better, post-COVID world.

Our Expo series will run from February to May 2021. Sessions are connected within this year’s theme - Challenges and Change: Exploring ‘What is’ and ‘What could be’ for BC’s Children and Families - and will include research presentations, workshops and dialogues. We will also be bringing back our popular Coffee Talks series. 

Monday, February 8, 2021
The Expo series will kick off February 8th with a morning dedicated to honouring the life and work of HELP’s co-founder, Dr. Clyde Hertzman. Honouring the Legacy of Clyde Hertzman: Reflections and Dialogue on 20 years of HELP’s Monitoring System will bring together friends ...

read more

Happy Holidays and HELP Holiday Hours

On behalf of everyone at HELP, I want to extend a warm thank you to our community, school, and research partners who have worked closely with us over the past year. And what year it has been! I wish to acknowledge the essential contributions everyone has been making to ensure children and families have the care and support they need during these challenging times. We wish you a happy holiday and look forward to brighter days in 2021 and continuing our work and collaboration.

Martin Guhn
Director, Human Early Learning Partnership 

HELP Holiday Hours

The HELP office will be closed from 4pm, Friday, December 18th until January 3rd, 2021. We look forward to working together with you in the New Year.

HELP is Hiring! Are you our next Director?

The Faculty of Medicine Research Office at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) in the Faculty of Medicine invite applications for the position of Director of the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP). The appointment is for an initial term of five (5) years with the possibility of renewal, subject to satisfactory review. The position is expected to be filled by a candidate internal to the University, normally at the rank of Professor within the tenure stream. The anticipated start date is July 1, 2021, or upon a date to be mutually agreed.

HELP is a UBC Senate-approved Centre in the SPPH within the Faculty of Medicine at UBC. HELP is recognized provincially, nationally, and internationally for its pioneering interdisciplinary research on child development from a society-to-cell perspective and for its knowledge translation and mobilization work with diverse stakeholders, including health authorities, policy makers, educators, and parents. Since HELP was established in 2000, one core activity of HELP’s Human Development Program of Research has been to gather population-level data related to child well-being and development in BC and conduct research on children’s developmental trajectories.

The Director of the Centre will ...

read more

Kimberly Schonert-Reichl has been appointed as the NoVo Foundation Endowed Chair in Social and Emotional Learning

You may have seen the exciting news that Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl has been appointed as the NoVo Foundation Endowed Chair in Social and Emotional Learning in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois, Chicago, starting January 2021. She will also be working directly at the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) on their program of research. This is a testament to her leadership in the field of Social and Emotional Learning and her standing as a world expert in this area. We are so proud of her!

This is not a goodbye. We want to assure you that Kim will still be very much involved with the Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI), both in BC and across Canada. Kim will remain as a faculty member of the Human Early Learning Partnership and maintain her connections with UBC and UBC’s Faculty of Education. She remains committed to her role as research lead on the MDI and will continue to advise and guide the project. She will also continue as advisor and expert for the Government of BC, and a number of partner organizations in this Province. She will visit BC regularly and will play an active ...

read more

#ICYMI MDI School District & Community Reports are online

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 are at risk of experiencing increased challenges. MDI data provide an opportunity 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.

On behalf of Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl and everyone at HELP, we wanted to remind BC school districts 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 
Please review this year’s MDI Data Highlights and Trends document to learn more about the improvements made to the MDI this past year.

Our latest MDI Webinar 
Understanding and Supporting the Well-being of Children in Middle Childhood: Recent Data Trends from the Middle Years Development Instrument featuring Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl and special guest Gail Markin, Social Emotional Learning Support K-12, Langley ...

read more

You didn’t miss a thing! Our HELP Coffee Talks Outdoor Play and Learning recordings are now available.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our second HELP Coffee Talks series. This timely series provided both a research perspective and practical insight related to the importance of outdoor play and learning, with particular attention paid to the current COVID-19 context.

We also wish to thank our guests, Dr. Mariana Brussoni and Megan Zeni. 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.

A Conversation with Dr. Mariana Brussoni


Outdoor Play Canada
Play Streets Initiative
Social determinants of playing outdoors in the neighbourhood: family characteristics, trust in neighbours and daily outdoor play in early childhood.


A Conversation with Megan Zeni

@Roomtoplay (Twitter)
Ten Tips for Teaching Outside the Classroom
Becker, C., Lauterbach, G., Spengler, S., Dettweiler, U., Mess, F., (2017). Effects of regular classes in outdoor education settings: A systematic review on students' learning, social and health dimensions. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14
Kuo, M., Barnes, M., Jordan, C., (2019). Do experiences with nature promote learning? Converging evidence of a cause-and-effect relationship ...

read more

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 at 9AM– A Conversation with Dr. Mariana Brussoni 
Dr. Oberle is pleased to welcome friend and colleague Dr. Mariana Brussoni. Together, Eva and Mariana ...

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