Registration is Open! Fall Expo 2019

This year's HELP Fall Research Expo will take place on Tuesday, November 5th! 
Theatre, UBC Robson Square
9:00am to 12:15pm - Keynote Presentations
1:00 - 4:00pm - Workshops

2019 marks the final year of Early Development Instrument (EDI) Wave 7 data collection (2017-2019) and our Fall Research Expo is an opportunity for a sneak peek into the EDI trends in BC prior to the report release in mid-November. EDI data provide us with an essential public health weathervane, highlighting the larger trends in children’s development as a way to guide investment, policy and programs. The data shine a light on the many factors, from proximal family influences to the larger social and economic context in which families are living in BC, that are affecting children’s development and readiness to learn.

This year’s Expo will explore not only the patterns and trends in early child development emerging from EDI data in BC for Wave 7 but also the factors influencing theses data and trends. The morning session will include presentations from Dr. Barry Forer, presenting the latest BC EDI data, Dr. Magdalena Janus, providing national and international EDI context, Dr. Paul Kershaw, discussing the policy context, and Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, delving deeper into supporting the social and emotional development of children and families. Our afternoon workshop sessions will focus on CHEQ (Childhood Experiences Questionnaire), TDI (Toddler Development Instrument) and taking a Systems Thinking approach to using data toward action. Please view workshop descriptions and the complete event agenda below.

Morning Agenda

9:00     Welcome and Introductions

9:25     Extra! Extra! Latest provincial EDI results now available!
Dr. Barry Forer, Research Methodologist and Statistician, HELP Dr. Magdalena Janus, Affiliate, HELP, Associate Professor, School of Population and Public Health, UBC, and Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences and Offord Centre for Child Studies, McMaster University

10:10     Generation Squeeze: Getting to the bottom of why EDI trends aren’t getting better, faster.
Dr. Paul Kershaw, Associate Professor, UBC, and Founder and Lead Researcher of Generation Squeeze

10:50     Coffee Break

11:15     The Social and Emotional Competence and Well-being of children in the early years: What do we know and where do we go from here?
Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, Applied Developmental Psychologist and a Professor in the Human Development, Learning, and Culture area in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, and Special Education in the Faculty of Education, UBC, and Director, Human Early Learning Partnership.

12:00     Thank You and Closing

Afternoon Workshops

Under the Surface: Using a Systems Lens to Understand and Utilize Data
Joanne Schroeder, Max Bell Foundation Policy Fellow, and Pippa Rowcliffe, Deputy Director, HELP 
Room TBC

EDI and MDI data provide us with a point-in-time picture of how children are doing in regions across the Province. This picture is formed through a interconnected set of experiences and influences that, together, contribute to children's overall well-being. Over the past 20 years, HELP's data and research have shown that the picture of how children are doing is not as rosy as we would want it to be: EDI data show increasing levels of vulnerability as children enter school. In spite of a great deal of commitment and effort from large numbers of people, it is clear that the response we have mounted is insufficient.

Importantly, we, as people who care about children and devote our lives to improving their experiences, are also part of the system that is producing these sometimes less than desirable results. This workshop will help participants get under the surface of the data and gain a deeper understanding of what might be driving the trends and patterns that we see. We will use system thinking strategies, along with inter and intrapersonal tools, to leverage our hearts and our minds toward emerging next steps.

Understanding Social Inequities in Early Childhood Experiences: The Toddler Development Instrument
Dr. Martin Guhn, Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP), UBC
Room TBC

Currently, in British Columbia, there is no system to regularly collect and share information on children’s experiences in the early years. The Toddler Development Instrument (TDI) is a tool that aims to fill this gap. The TDI is a survey completed by parents of toddlers that collects information on the experiences of families with young children. We are currently piloting the TDI in BC with the aim to gather population-level data in each of the five pilot communities.

The long-term goal is to link TDI information with other monitoring tools on children’s development so that we can understand which social factors make a difference in children’s development. Collectively, we anticipate that these tools will help us understand how we can build a more supportive system in early childhood that will help all children and families thrive.
In this session, we present updates from the TDI pilot study to date, and engage participants in discussion around how population-level information from the TDI may inform practice and decision-making in the ECD sector. We will also discuss what formats will be most useful to receive information on early childhood experiences and social context to engage stakeholders in meaningful knowledge exchange. 

This session is intended for those who work directly with toddlers and their families or managers of organizations focused on young children and families. As a result of attending this presentation, participants will (i) get an overview of HELP’s unique provincial population-based early years monitoring system; (ii) learn about the newly developed Toddler Development Instrument (TDI); and (iii) discuss implications of having community-level data on early childhood experiences and social context to inform early childhood practice and decision-making.

Dr. Alisa Almas and the CHEQ Team
Room TBC

The Childhood Experiences Questionnaire (CHEQ) was developed as a companion tool to the Early Development Instrument (EDI) as a way of providing more context for the increasing vulnerability rates reported across BC. The CHEQ is a parent-report tool that provides insight into the type, frequency and quality of children’s early experiences in areas that are important to their healthy development and well-being. Information from the CHEQ can be used in communities to improve programs and services for families. This past September, the CHEQ was piloted in fifteen school districts across our province, and HELP’s goal is to expand the CHEQ across BC over the next five years.

Join members of the CHEQ team for coffee, tea and light snacks and an open house style session where you can learn more about the CHEQ Project. We look forward to discussing the relationship between the CHEQ and EDI, sharing CHEQ resources and materials, exploring preliminary findings from 2019, and answering any questions you may have about this exciting project.

In Person and Workshop Registration

Fall Expo is one of our most popular events and we encourage you to register as soon as possible. Please complete the In Person Registration Form. 

PLEASE NOTE: Space is limited in both workshops and the CHEQ Open House. Please register immediatly to ensure your spot. The Connect with CHEQ Open House is an informal session taking place in advance of both workshops. The two formal workshops will run concurrently. Please choose only one. 

Webcast Registration

Can’t attend in person? We are pleased to once again webcast this event. Please complete the Webcast Registration Form. We will send you additional information and instructions for the webcast closer to November 5th.  You can also follow the conversation on social media both during the lead up to the event and day of using #HELPExpo2019.


Please don’t hesitate to contact Amy Mullis – – if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you on November 5th.