On November 4th, Early Childhood Development Working Group members spent an informative and fun morning at the Belleville Public Library with co-facilitators Louise Choquette from the Best Start Resource Centre, and Jen Ronan from the Hastings & Prince Edward Counties Health Unit.
The focus of the day was to gain a better understanding of physical literacy, define common language around physical activity, become familiar with available tools and resources, and continue work on a communication strategy.
The group was tasked by the CYSN in 2013 with improving Early Development Instrument (EDI) scores in the areas of physical health and well-being, emotional maturity, and communication skills/general knowledge which children in Hastings-Prince Edward entering Kindergarten are highly vulnerable in, as compared to overall results for Ontario.
This Best Start Resource Centre consultation was identified by the group as an important next step towards the development and implementation of an awareness / resource campaign that targets parents of children 0-6 years. It was noted that this group has expressed interest in collaborating with the County of Hastings and Health Unit on the Healthy Kids Community Challenge which has a similar mandate.
Among the 18 participants were representatives from both municipalities, both school boards, the Health Unit, the Prince Edward Family Health Team, the Ontario Early Years Centre, YMCA, Belleville Library, Triple P, Quinte Rehab, Counselling Services of Belleville and District, and the Prince Edward Resource Consultant Program. Although our United Way, Aboriginal and some licensed child care representatives were unable to attend, they will certainly be actively engaged as we move ahead with our project.
Photos show participants engaged in an exercise facilitated by George Flagler from Family Space Quinte called LOOSE PARTS which demonstrates that open-ended, creative learning can occur without fancy toys.
For details about the ECD Community Awareness project, please CLICK HERE to view our logic model. We are working towards a Spring 2015 launch. If you are a CYSN member or community partner interested in getting involved in the planning and implementation of this project, please do not hesitate to contact me. The date of our next meeting is to be determined by doodle poll.