10th Annual Summer Institute on Early Childhood Development
Putting Families First in Early Childhood
Research that points to the critical importance of parent engagement as central to early learning is often grounded in the notion that experts need to support parents who may be struggling in their parenting role.
The 10th Annual Summer Institute on Early Child Development shifts the lens away from a deficit model of parenting to one that recognizes the strengths that parents bring to the experiences of their young children. In a policy context that will see the integration of key parenting support programs under the Early Learning Division, this year’s Summer Institute explores lessons that parents as experts can share to inform the design of an effective early learning and family support system for all children.
Join us to recognize the exceptional contributions of Dr. Judith K. Bernhard for her lifelong research achievements in the area of parent engagement and diversity. Her ground-breaking work has had a significant impact on pan-Canadian early learning policy and practice.
Keynote: On the Importance of Being Engaging: Keeping Parents in the Centre of Parenting Research, Policy and Practice
Presenter: Brenda Smith-Chant, Associate Professor and Psychology Department Chair, Trent University
One of the most difficult issues facing early years policy and program designers is parent engagement. Increasingly, professionally designed and staffed programs are experiencing difficulties with reaching and engaging families. This difficulty is extending beyond the 'hard to reach families' to difficulties engaging families who traditionally attend parent education and other programs. The presentation will provide a critical review and analysis of some of the factors that impact parent engagement as well as provide a challenge to current programming philosophy.
Making Connections Between Research and Practice
- Trish Plant, President, Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs
- Mehrunissa Ali, Professor and Director, Joint Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement (CERIS); Director, Graduate Program in Early Childhood Studies, Ryerson University
- Andrea Prifti, Site Supervisor, George Brown College, Rose Avenue Child Care Centre
- Taunya Paquette, Associate Executive Director, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto
- Jenny Jenkins (moderator), Professor and Atkinson Chair, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto
Ontario's Early Years Policy Framework: Vision to Action
Presenters: Pam Musson, Director, Early Learning and Child Care Implementation Branch, Ministry of Education, and Rupert Gordon, Director of Early Learning and Child Care Policy and Program, Ministry of Education
Ministry of Education staff will provide an overview of the Ontario Early Years Framework strategic direction. They will discuss its role and intended impact in framing stronger common vision, governance, language and pedagogical approach for early years programs, as well as a more comprehensive approach to supporting, engaging and involving parents in an early years system.
Lessons from Others: Evidence Based Results for Effective Parent Engagement Practice
Presenter: Verna Bruce, Deputy Minister of Education (Retired) and Community Volunteer
Keynote: Emerging Ideas of Effective Parent Engagement for the Early Years
Presenter: Annie Kidder, Executive Director, People for Education
People for Education have carved a central place for parents in Ontario education debates. Its founder suggests ways that parents of preschoolers can find a voice.
Award Presentation - Judith Bernhard, ECE Award Recipient
Presenter: Patricia Chorney Rubin, Director, Community Services and Early Childhood, George Brown College
We recognize the exceptional contributions of Dr. Judith K. Bernhard for her lifelong research achievements in area of parent engagement and diversity. Her ground-breaking work has had a significant impact on pan-Canadian early learning policy and practice.
Super Dads, Super Kids (SDSK), Native Child and Family Services Toronto
Presenters: Randy Budd, Family and Community Development Worker, Native Child and Family Services Toronto and Taunya Paquette, Associate Executive Director, Native Child and Family Services Toronto
This program takes a position that when dads and kids are put together, good things happen. in the spirit of modeling good communication, interaction, and trust, SDSK was developed with continuous input from dads and kids. Native Child and Family Services Toronto will share with participants how they are coming together with male caregivers from the youth sector through grandfathers to build strong and nurturing environments.
Looking Back and Looking Forward: Learning to Work with Immigrant Families
Presenter: Mehrunissa Ali, Professor, School of Early Childhood Studies, Ryerson University
A discussion of how our colonial legacies continue to shape relations between providers of public services (i.e. teachers, nurses, social workers) in Canada and the immigrant families they serve. Participants will be invited to create and consider various options to combat the effects of our historical pasts.
Evidence-Based Parenting Interventions for Early Learning and Positive Mental Health
Presenter: Emis Akbari, Post Doctoral Fellow, Atkinson Centre, University of Toronto
Parental behaviours have been shown to mediate a wide range of children’s learning, social and mental health outcomes. A range of intervention programs have been developed to improve parenting and hence, children’s outcomes. We review these interventions and relying on high-quality evidence we show which programs have been found to be most effective. Because of the importance of informing prevention policy, transportability and public dissemination of these interventions will also be discussed.
Beliefs About Working Families
Presenter: Connie Winder, PhD Candidate, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto
Recent studies suggests that educators are attracted to early childhood education because of their love of children not necessarily their desire to support families. Until now, there has been little published research regarding the motivation of individuals who wish to become ECEs in Ontario. This workshop will explore the findings of an investigation into the motivations and beliefs of beginning and graduating students enrolled in a 2-year community college ECE diploma program.
The Annual Summer Institute on Early Childhood Development is presented by: