12th Annual Summer Institute on Early Childhood Development

An illustrated poster titled "Wellness in an Integrated Workforce" with various work-related illustrations and ideas surrounding the title.
June 5, 2015
12th Annual Summer Institute

Wellness in an Integrated Workforce

Children and families face many stressors and need knowledgeable and skilled early childhood professionals offering support. Meanwhile the sector itself faces challenges as it adapts to a shifting landscape and expectations to work in a more integrated way with families and their children. These realities serve as an impetus to identify and examine both the policies and practices that contribute to the well-being of staff, families and children.

The 12th Annual Summer Institute on Early Childhood Development will focus on strategies to support workforce well-being through cross-sector collaborations.

Panel Conversation: What contributes to well-being in my workplace?

Early childhood professionals in the front line of child and family services share their employer policies and personal strategies for creating well-being in the workplace. Panel moderated by Zeenat Janmohamed, George Brown College.

Caitlin Patterson

 Frankland Public School

Nancy Searl

Holland Bloorview Rehabilitation Hospital

Safra Najeemudeen

360 Kids Family Resource Centre

Tasha Palmer

Jean Tweed Child Development Centre


Wellbeing: A review of the literature

Presenter: Daniel Poliszczuk, PhD Candidate, Developmental Psychology and Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

Exploring the many elements of children's well-being and the relational and systemic factors that impact healthy child development.

City of Toronto: Shared Outcome Project

Presenter: Brendon Goodmurphy, Policy Development Officer, Toronto Children's Services

Defining child and family well-being in Toronto. This workshop will cover the shared outcomes project, which identifies 5 child outcomes and 5 family outcomes developed through a community engagement process. As the project moves through the data collection phase, learn more about how shared outcomes can help the child and family sector work collectively to improve well-being.

Professional Education for Early Childhood Educators

Presenter: Jane Bertrand, Adjunct Faculty, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, and Program Director, Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation

A review of recent studies that examine effective pedagogy and organization of post-secondary early childhood programs.

Wellbeing in the Workforce: Policy Implications

Presenter: Romona Gananathan, PhD, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

This workshop explores the legal and policy implications for early childhood professionals in FDK including the impact of law and policy on the wages, working conditions and professional status of RECEs in FDK.

Infant Mental Health: Empowering Professionals

Presenter: Chaya Kulkarni, Director, Infant Mental Health Promotion, Hospital for Sick Children

The Infant Mental Health Promotion (IMHP) at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto is a community based coalition of individuals and professional agencies dedicated to promoting optimal mental health outcomes for infants in the first three years of life. This presentation will share some of the evaluation data findings and lessons learned in the development and delivery of a wide spread initiative to engage and empower professionals and encourage collaboration in their work with infants and toddlers.

Benefits of a Mindfulness-Based Program

Presenter: Melanie Viglas, PhD, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

The use of mindfulness-based programs to address overall wellbeing is increasing rapidly. This research investigated the impact of a 6 week mindfulness-based program on young children’s self-regulation, prosocial behavior and hyperactivity in four full-day kindergarten classrooms.

In Search of an Effective Method of Assessing First Nations Children’s Speech and Language Development

Presenter: Ann Anderson, Speech/Language Program Coordinator, Rainy River District School Board

This study investigated whether the current standardized speech and language assessment tools appropriately and accurately measure the speech and language development of First Nations children in the Rainy River District. The research sample consisted of 429 early learning students from the Rainy River District School Board and The Fluharty Preschool Speech and Language Screening Test was the assessment tool utilized.

City of Toronto: Local Planning Strategy

Presenters: Joey Reeder, Toronto Urban Fellow, Toronto Children’s Services, and David Lee, Consultant, Toronto Children’s Services

How we use our definition of well-being to influence local planning for child and family services in Toronto. This workshop will update on the development of a local planning strategy for Toronto, which builds off the results of a February community symposium held by the Toronto Child and Family Network. Join us to learn about how better local planning can impact well-being by improving both access for families and the capacity of professionals in the field.

Collaborative Practice


  • Isabel Zatti, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Nursery Schools Play and Learn Site
  • Silvia Souto, Resource Consultant, Community Outreach Service, Early Learning and Development Team, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation
  • Nancy Searl, Collaborative Practice Leader, Early Learning and Development Leader

With over a century of dedication to improving the quality of life for children with disabilities and their families, Holland Bloorview’s Collaborative Practice Service supports professionals and inter-professional practice with structures and processes that build engaged, resilient practitioners primed to elevate and transform care in a culture of innovation, inquiry and compassion.

Wellbeing in the Workforce


  • Tasha Palmer, Lead RECE, Jean Tweed Child Development Centre
  • Meredith Maw, Supervisor, Jean Tweed Child Development Centre
  • Safra Najeemudeen, 360 Kids Family Resource Centre

Early Childhood Educators work in a range of community programs designed to promote the well-being of children and families. Both the Jean Tweed Centre and Thorncliffe Park Neighborhood Office invest in staff to build their capacity to be effective in these dynamic transformation environments.

Ministry of Early Years Division Update

Presenter: Shannon Fuller, Ministry Early Years Division, Director, Business Planning, Outcomes and Assessment Branch

The Ministry will provide an overview of the Child Care Modernization Act, 2014(CCEYA), the work to support proclamation of Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 and highlight key aspects of the proposed regulations under the CCEYA.

The Pascal Report, 6 years later: A boom, bust or echo?

Presenters: Charles Pascal, Professor, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, and Kerry McCuaig, Fellow in Early Childhood Policy, Atkinson Centre, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

Report author Charles Pascal in conversation with the Atkinson Centre policy fellow, Kerry McCuaig. The Pascal plan for reforming early education and children’s services promised a revolution in education when it was released in 2009. Has it delivered and how?

Award Presentation

Recognizing the contribution of Jamie Kass to the professional status of Early Childhood Educators. 

Jamie is the National Child Care Coordinator for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. She has an academic background in Psychology and Early Childhood Education. Jamie is a union activist, a feminist; and a tireless advocate in support of a national child care system.

Award winner, Jamie Kass.

Event Art

A special thank you to Shannon Loomer from VisualTalks! for her incredible art during the event!

The Annual Summer Institute on Early Childhood Development is presented by: