FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 31, 2016
WEST VANCOUVER, BC - COAST SALISH TERRITORY – The BC Aboriginal Child Care Society (BCACCS) has decided to mark the end of Child Care Month by reminding leadership and communities why it is so important to make investing in Aboriginal early childhood development and care (AECDC) a priority.
For Child Care Month every year, BCACCS renews the From Seed to Cedar Awareness Campaign (www.seedtocedar.com) to raise awareness about the crucial role of quality AECDC programs in our communities and recognize the work of dedicated Early Childhood Educators (ECEs).
There is increasing scientific evidence on the long-term effectiveness of quality early childhood development (ECD) programs. A US longitudinal study published in August 2011 found that “low income children who had spent two to six years in the (Chicago Child-Parent Education) program had higher rates of high school graduation, few criminal arrests, reduced instances of substance abuse and earned more money than children of the same age who did not participate in the program.” The researchers concluded that these positive results are applicable for most high-quality early education programs.
Expanded, integrated and culturally affirming Indigenous early childhood development programs based on a planned and coordinated approach are desperately needed at all levels and have the potential to make a real difference in our children’s futures. However, BCACCS has deep concerns that despite the recent federal budget, truth and reconciliation commission report and Jordan’s principle outcome there is a decided lack of interest in making early years a priority. Sustainable funding is necessary to ensure that young Indigenous children, on and off reserve, have the best start in life. This support has to begin now.
BCACCS is happy to support and participate in the work of creating a national Indigenous early years framework and hopes that Indigenous leadership has been and will continue to be appropriately consulted and involved in the process.
The continued engagement of Indigenous leadership, and inclusion of ECD on the national political action agenda, is critical in raising the profile and promise of ECD in our communities as well as with provincial and municipal governments.
You can help prioritize the early years. Make it integral to community planning; ensure it is included in health strategies; include it in educational policies; remind colleagues and other leadership how high quality AECDC can help the children in your community thrive!
Share photos and stories about the difference that quality early childhood programs make in your community to demonstrate the impact quality AECDC has in communities #SeedtoCedar.
Our children are the future. Spread the word about the necessity of quality AECDC. Like or follow the campaign on social media and become a champion by signing the declaration.
Find out more at www.seedtocedar.com
More info about BCACCS: Link to BCACCS
Fionn Yaxley, Communications Officer
604-913-9128 ext. 223