Presentation on theme: "Collaboration in Support of Early Child Development"— Presentation transcript:
1Collaboration in Support of Early Child Development Equity From The StartCollaboration in Support ofEarly Child Development
2ECD The Powerful Equalizer If we can:Improve health & well-being ofpopulationsImprove ability & competence ofKEY MESSAGESFrom a population health perspective, we know that only through promoting healthy early child development at the level of the population can we address the inequities in the health, well being and competence for everyone.Investing in early child development is our “chance” to level the playing field and create a more equitable society and more competent citizenry in Canada.
3Development Important? Why is Early ChildDevelopment Important?KEY MESSAGESThe early years, notably from birth to five, influence lifelong health, learning and behaviour.Research now shows that many challenges in adult society—mental health problems, obesity, heart disease, criminality, competence in literacy and numeracy—have their roots in early childhoodA child’s early experiences have a vital impact on the way his or her brain develops.The nurturant qualities of the environments to which children are exposed in their earliest years literally “sculpt” the developing brain.TRICKS & TOOLSWhat is nuturant? Environments where exploration is encouraged; mentoring in basic skills is provided; developmental advances are celebrated; development of new skills is guided and extended; protection from inappropriate discipline; and language is rich and responsive.
4Neurons are the basic building blocks of the brain. Building the brainNeurons are the basic building blocks of the brain.A familiarity with what is known about how the brain develops allows us to understand how early environments can be structured to improve early and later outcomes. Neurons are the basic building blocks of the brain; based on genes and experience, neurons are connected to form networks. Networks that are underdeveloped are pruned. As each stage of the brain’s development rests on another, everything in the infant environment contributes to brain development—noise, light, and changes in temperature; the touch, voice, and smell of her caregiver.
5Synaptic Density Neuron connections At birth 6 Years Old 14 Years Old Detailed analysis of the patterns of nerve connection that form from birth to age 14 have been carried out. This slide which comes from the work of Huttenlocher shows the connections amongst the neurons at birth is not intense but that by the age of 6 the connection density is considerable. By the age of 14, the connection pattern is still greater than at birth but is less intense. The weak pathways have been cut out. This process is referred to as the wiring and sculpting of the brain. The wiring of neurons in the brain is hugely influenced by stimulation and the use of these neuron pathways. Thus, as you age, pathways that are not intensely used will disappear. What this evidence does show you is that the early period of life has a significant effect on the wiring and sculpting of the brain.
6‘Sensitive periods’ in early brain development Binocular vision‘Sensitive periods’ in early brain developmentCentral auditory systemHabitual ways of respondingLanguageEmotional controlHighSymbolPeer social skillsRelative quantitySensitivity‘Sensitive periods’ in early brain developmentLow1234567Years
7Children need nurturance and stimulation across all environments. What MattersEverything.Children need nurturance and stimulation across all environments.Children develop everywhere. So everywhere needs to support development.
8OECD Report, 2004Source: Starting Strong ll: Early Childhood Education and Care; September 2006
9“…What gets measured improves and what gets measured gets attention…” How are children doing?“…What gets measured improves and what gets measured gets attention…”— Charles S. CoffeyEvaluations of child well-being are not new:A century ago, the recognized importance of pregnancy and infancy on the health of mothers and children led to the adoption of local and national measures of maternal and infant mortality. The findings catapulted public hygiene onto the policy agenda.Safe drinking water legislation was passed and public health units formed; first to teach baby care to mothers, then to deliver mass immunization programs. These efforts slashed mother/child death rates.While still in use, and still useful, these measures are inadequate to appraise the quality of children’s lives today. A broader approach is required that is able to gauge the conditions of early childhood on health, learning, and behaviour.Children’s well-being is still influenced by their physical and socio-economic environments. New population-based assessments provide the data needed to inform the actions of today’s policy makers.Child population health appraisals are also watchdogs for democratic accountability.
10¼ of Canada’s children between birth to age 6 are experiencing some learning or behavioural difficulty.Determining Vulnerability in ChildrenChildren “at-risk” are more likely to have difficulties related to their biological makeup or the environments they live in. Researchers have identified and calculated the types of risk and their likely affect on children’s development. Being ‘at risk’ is not a solid prediction. It does mean that children in these circumstances are more likely to develop problems later in life than those who do not.“Vulnerable” children have a developmental difficulty such as obesity or poor language skills. They may have problems getting along with other children, meeting challenges, regulating their emotions, attending to tasks or learning new concepts and skills. Childhood vulnerability during the early years seems to increase the likelihood of problems in later life.About one quarter of Canadian children less than six years old are “vulnerable”. They have physical, social/emotional or cognitive difficulties likely to cause problems in later life.
11EDI characteristicscompleted by kindergarten teachers based on several months of observationpopulation level measure—results can be interpreted for groups of children.results used by communities to mobilize for improved child outcomesThe EDI has the following characteristics:The EDI is completed by kindergarten teachers based on several months of observation.While reliable at an individual level, the EDI does not provide a diagnosis of a child’s developmental problems.It provides a population level measure – results can be interpreted for groups of children.The results may be used to identify the weak and the strong sectors of a community.The results can be used by communities to mobilize for improved child outcomes.
125 scales of the EDI Physical health and well-being Social competence Emotional maturityLanguage and cognitive developmentCommunication skills & general knowledgeTHE FIVE DOMAINS OF THE EDI:1. Physical health and well-beingAbove the 90th percentile, a child is physically ready to tackle a new day at school, is generally independent, and has excellent motor skills.Below the 10th percentile, a child has inadequate fine and gross motor skills, is sometimes tired or hungry, usually clumsy, and may have flagging energy levels.2. Social CompetenceAbove the 90th percentile, a child never has a problem getting along, working, or playing with other children; is respectful to adults, self-confident, has no difficulty following class routines, and is capable of pro-social behaviour.Below the 10th percentile, a child has poor overall social skills and exhibits regular serious problems in more than one area: getting along with other children; accepting responsibility for their own actions; following rules and class routines; and showing respect for adults, children, and others’ property. He or she lacks self-confidence and self-control, finds it difficult to adjust to change, and is usually unable to work independently.3. Emotional MaturityAbove the 90th percentile, a child almost never shows aggressive, anxious or impulsive behaviour, has good ability to concentrate, and is often helpful to other children.Below the 10th percentile, a child has regular problems managing aggressive behaviour, is prone to disobedience, and/or is easily distractible, inattentive, impulsive, usually unable to show helping behaviour towards other children, and is sometimes upset when left by the caregiver.4. Language and Cognitive DevelopmentAbove the 90th percentile, a child is interested in books, reading and writing, rudimentary math, is capable of reading and writing simple sentences and complex words, and is able to count and recognize numbers and geometric shapes.Below the 10th percentile, a child has problems in both reading/writing and numeracy, is unable to read and write simple words; is uninterested in trying, is often unable to attach sounds to letters, has difficulty remembering things, counting to 20, recognizing and comparing numbers, and is usually not interested in numbers.5. Communication Skills and General KnowledgeAbove the 90th percentile, a child has excellent communication skills, can tell a story and communicate with both children and adults, and has no problems with articulation.Below the 10th percentile, a child has poor communication skills and articulation, limited command of English, has difficulty talking to others, problems understanding and being understood, and has poor general knowledge.
13Percentage of Students Vulnerable on One or More scales of the EDI Based on Provincial cutoffs, Wave 1
14Percentage of Students Vulnerable on One or More Scales of the EDI Based on Provincial cutoffs, Wave 2
15Proportion of Students Vulnerable on One or More Scales of the EDI Based on Provincial cutoffs, Wave 2
16Vulnerability Because of the size of the middle class, The Council for Early Child Development - Putting Science into Action for ChildrenVulnerabilityBecause of the sizeof the middle class,the largest number(rather than the highest %)of children with serious difficultiesare in moderate income families.The highest proportion of children experiencing at least one serious learning or behavioural difficulty is found in the lowest socio-economic group. Each step up the socio-economic ladder, the proportion of children having difficulties declines, but there are still a significant number of children at each step, including the top one. There is no socio-economic threshold above which all children do well. Just as was the case with the NLSCY data, because of the size of the middle class, the largest number (rather than the highest percentage) of children with serious difficulties are in moderate income families. The socio-economic gradient pattern found in EDI results is similar to that found in the NLSCY data that considers childhood vulnerability. In this assessment, 80% of the vulnerable children were found to live in families who are not in the lowest income group. A higher proportion of children in the poorest families were vulnerable, but the total number of children in more affluent families is greater.Created: August 24, 2005
17But income is not the whole story. The Council for Early Child Development - Putting Science into Action for ChildrenSocioeconomic statusWhere families fit on the economic ladder contributes to children’s developmental outcomes.But income is not the whole story.Many children in low-income families are doing just fine, and some children living in affluence are not doing well.Children who grow up in poverty are more likely to have problems before entry to Grade 1, than children who are living in more affluent families. However, the results are a gradient. In actual numbers, the NLSCY data show that more than 70% of vulnerable children in Canada live in non-poor families. The majority of vulnerable children are found in moderate income, two-parent families.Created: August 24, 2005
19The evidence is compelling The Council for Early Child Development - Putting Science into Action for ChildrenThe evidence is compellingWell-funded, integrated,child development and parenting programsimprovethe cognitive & social functioningof all children.The evidence is compelling and overwhelming: well-funded, integrated, child development and parenting programs improve the cognitive and social functioning of all children. If properly linked to labour, health, and social services, early childhood programs can deliver additional outcomes, such as enhanced maternal employment, less family poverty; better parenting skills and greater family and community cohesion. Quality early childhood programs are not only good for children and families, they are good for the bottom line. Focused public spending on young children provides returns that outstrip any other type of human capital investment.Created: August 24, 2005
20Local school authorities ChaosEarly interventionHealthFamily supportEducationSocial servicesPublic healthChild CareCommunity servicesLocal school authoritiesParks & recreationChild CareParentingcentresKindergartensCommunity Agencies
21Getting from Chaos to Coherence Starting new programs easier than joining up existing ones.Hardening of the categories, in governments and in communities.Top-down AND bottom-up essential.Change through pressure and support.Partnerships and creativity are essential
22What is a neighbourhood centre for early child development? A place or collection of places…..in a neighbourhood….where all children can get the supports they need to develop their minds, their bodies and their spirits.
23An integration of child care, early child development and family strengthening programs. They integrate the direct provision of at least two services, but provide seamless access to the entire web of services for young children in a community.
25There is no “one size fits all” They look different from one neighbourhood to the next.Service mix, infrastructure and location will reflect the character and needs of the community.A community development component provides a mechanism for service design to be responsive to local need.
26Build on community strengths They make use of available space. They can be located in community centres, schools, child care centres, public housing, or the local mall.They evolve from existing local partnerships.They enhance collaborative efforts, not create duplication or competition.
27They are accessible Provide universal access to services. The only target is the neighbourhood.Address local barriers that may limit the accessibility of services …. affordability, lack of transportation, hours of operation, language and cultural barriers.
28Based on researchService mix is based on what is known about the neighbourhoodParent voice,Socio-economic character,EDIExisting assets.