AN INTEGRATED APPROACH TO EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT

The evidence is clear: A person’s first five years have a tremendous impact on their life course.

We are calling on the Government of Alberta to initiate an integrated approach to Early Childhood Development. Putting children first throughout government policies, practice, and programs will help all Albertans’ understand and value early childhood development.

One in four Alberta children are vulnerable in one or more areas of development prior to entering the first grade.

Together, we can ensure that every Alberta child has the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential.

We propose a set of enabling elements which, when successfully implemented in a complementary fashion, will produce the integrated approach that will result in better outcomes for children – as children – and throughout their adult life.

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Download full position paper here

Download executive summary on position paper here

Countless individuals, groups, and organizations across Alberta are working hard to give children the opportunities they need to reach their full potential. Despite these efforts, many young children in our province continue to struggle. The First 2000 Days Network is working to improve the landscape of Early Childhood Development.

We act as a catalyst for linking, aligning, and leveraging efforts in the Early Childhood Development (ECD) system to enable collective action toward improving ECD outcomes. We firmly believe that by impacting how the sector works together to we can have a positive impact on child and family outcomes.

For every dollar spent on children in the early years, the return on investment is at least 8x returned in adulthood, in improving health and education and ending the cycle of poverty.

As a Network of people who are guided by a deep care and investment in children’s well-being, we hope this is the beginning of a significant change in our province’s way of working.


Engagement Strategies:

So you want to help put ECD on the agenda… 

The Network’s strength is in our numbers.  Here’s what you can do to help candidates understand the importance of Early Childhood Development ahead of the 2019 provincial election. 

 Talk to candidates 

  • Put the Q-cards at your front door so when a candidate comes knocking, you’re prepared with a question to put forward. 

  • Attend candidate forums.  Ask a Q-card question or be prepared with your own. 

  • Reach out to the candidate directly and ask for a meeting.  Remember: There’s strength in numbers!  Ask a fellow Network member to join you. 

  • If you operate a facility (classroom, child care centre, training facility or resource centre, for example) invite a candidate for a tour. 

  • Offer to email the position paper, visit the website and sign up for the Network’s mailing list. 

Talk to friends and colleagues 

  • Encourage friends, family and colleagues who support ECD to take Q-cards so they too can engage with candidates. 

  • Make sure you all get out to vote!  Offer a ride to a polling station or be sure staff are provided adequate time to vote. 

  • Share the link of the position paper widely.  Use the Network tracking form to record who you sent it to!

Get engaged! 

  • Familiarize yourself with your riding of residence and, if appropriate, the riding of your workplace.  For example, if you are affiliated with a regional Early Childhood Coalition, consider engaging with the candidates for the riding(s) in which your Coalition is located. 

  • Inform yourself of the platforms for each of the parties and learn about their position on Early Childhood Development. 

  • Let people know you’ll be voting for kids in 2019!  In the spring, the Network will be making buttons and window signs for you to promote the importance of ECD on the policy agenda.   

Resources:

Q-Cards

Reference List for Advocacy Q-Cards

Engagement Tracking Form: Click here

2019 Electoral Boundaries for Calgary: Click here

Letter Template: Click here

Full Position Paper: Click here

Position Paper Executive Summary: Click here