HELP’s Commitment to Support Communities

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, but particularly those that are more vulnerable, are at risk of experiencing increased challenges. Understanding the short-term impact of COVID-19 is essential. It is also critical to continue to collect data that help us reflect and understand the long-term impacts of the pandemic on BC’s children and families. 

To this end, we expect to continue to work in partnership with school districts and community partners to collect population-level data through the Toddler Development Instrument (TDI), the Childhood Experiences Questionnaire (CHEQ), Early Development Instrument (EDI), and Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI). Our questionnaires provide opportunities to hear from parents and caregivers directly about their child’s experiences and their family’s challenges during this time (CHEQ), from teachers about observations of vulnerabilities for children in Kindergarten (EDI), and 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 (MDI).

We are working closely with school districts involved in gathering data this coming school year, ensuring school district leadership and staff are well-supported. We will also dedicate our attention to supporting access to the data and reports in a timely and easy manner, and will be available to engage with schools and communities in using out data and research. We believe strongly that the data collected from our questionnaires will be critical in supporting future planning activities, policy development, and long-term adaptation and learning. They will assist in our understanding of the potentially lasting and differential impacts of this pandemic on children’s development, health, and well-being across communities in BC.

This is no small task and one we can only accomplish by working together. We want to acknowledge the essential contributions everyone is making now to ensure children and families have continuity of care and support they need during these challenging times. And we are looking forward to working closely with our school district and community partners as we not only learn more about how the pandemic has impacted children and families but how we can support initiatives that mitigate the impacts.