I am going to continue being LOUD!
October 30, 2014
In recent months, I have been getting to know many different Champions for Children around the province. These are people, who, have been working tirelessly for the last 5 years to bring the issues of Early Childhood Development in our province to the forefront of people’s minds.
When I first heard about EC Map, and all the amazing work they have done to research, compile and then share the information about children, aged 0-5, in our province, I knew it was something I HAD to get involved with. Dayhome Registry is a business 100% dedicated to improving the lives of children in childcare by strengthening the dayhome community. And most of these children are aged 1-5, and so we had to engage in the conversation.
Sadly, in a province as wealthy and advantaged as ours, only 46% of children at kindergarten are meeting all 5 developmental standards as set out by EDI (Early Development Instrument). And in some communities, it is as low as 16%. This is NOT about school readiness, which is a common misconception. This is about children being where they should be developmentally: emotionally, socially, physically. This is about ensuring all children have experiences in their lives that grow healthy brains. The connections between a strong Early Childhood and future successes are VERY strong.
- be successful in school, have fewer learning disabilities and be more likely to finish high school and seek further education or training,
- be more productive in the workforce, hold better jobs, earn more and pay more taxes and own their own homes, and
- be healthier throughout their lives, physically and mentally, with a lower risk of heart disease, Type II diabetes, obesity, depression and substance abuse.
Children are less likely to:
- be involved in crime or with the criminal justice system, and
- require social assistance, child welfare or other income supports.
- – from the Benefits of Healthy Development, EC Map
So, this begs the question, what can we do about it? As parents, neighbours, childcare givers, grandparents, citizens, how can we contribute to a healthy developing brain in small children? These children are the future leaders of Calgary, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and the world!
First, educate yourself. Spend some time reading through the articles and pieces of information out there. 2000 Days Network out of Calgary, and the Edmonton Early Years Coalitions are great places to start.
Start in your own home. What small changes can you make in the way you interact with children that foster healthy brain development? Read more books, go outside and discuss what you see, turn off the T.V.
Get involved! Join your Community Coalition, there are over 100 of them in the province, including 7 in Edmonton and 10 in Calgary. These community coalitions are doing the heavy lifting: connecting with policy makers, businesses in the community, and keeping the conversations going.
Here at Dayhome Registry, we will continue to share information, spark conversations about high quality childcare, and generally be LOUD! Until everyone in the province knows about this work, and realizes how important it is, we will not be done, and we will not be quiet.