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 with whom we work to support early years data collection, reporting and community engagement. We will be designing a renewed community engagement structure and approach that adapts to the new context, one that maintains the approaches that HELP has traditionally used:

  • Making data and research available to communities in ways that are accessible and understandable and that facilitate evidence-based decision-making;
  • Encouraging collaborative and intersectoral approaches in the early years;
  • Expanding our understanding of what makes community systems work; and
  • Building the capacity of early years professionals and leaders, across all sectors, to work systemically, and differently, toward improved outcomes.

Over the next few months, we will be taking some time to be reflective and careful in the redesign of our community engagement platform. And we will be sure to reach out and connect with as many partners as possible about our emerging ideas. Thank you for your commitment to improving the well-being of children and families. And thank you for working in partnership with us over many years.