AECDC in the Community
In this time of treaty negotiations and land claims we need strong people. Early childhood development is an investment now in the future well being of our communities. - Chief Ian Campbell, Squamish Nation
boriginal Early Childhood Development and Care Programs are a crucial part of the fabric of community services for families – often acting as the hub where families can access referrals to:
- Health Services: such as immunization, hearing and vision check ups
- Early Intervention for Development Support: parenting play groups, pre-literacy, occupational therapy, and special needs support
- Culture and Mother Tongue: elders, cultural activities, traditional foods, community events, and festivals
- Child Protection and Family Support: family support services
Educators build bridges in the community; connecting generations and creating a space where culture and language can be shared and revitalized.
Research from Dr. Jessica Ball at the Early Childhood Development Intercultural Partnerships School of Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria speaks to the important role ECDC programs play in Aboriginal communities. Her report Hook and Hub: Coordinating Programs to Support Indigenous Children’s Early Learning and Development explores several case studies of how First Nations communities in Canada have used models that place ECDC at the centre of community supports for family.
The chart below, from the report, demonstrates how ECDC programs connect families to a range of services in the community.