Program Highlights

The Mount is proud to offer the only university-level Child & Youth Study program in Atlantic Canada. Students in our program engage in practical training and theoretical explorations in child and youth work, early childhood education, as well as early intervention and inclusive development. As strong supporters of experiential learning we are pleased to offer our undergraduates four supervised practicum placements which enable our students to apply the knowledge that they have learned in the classroom to hands-on, real-world experience. We also offer a Master of Arts in Child and Youth Study.

The BA(CYS) degree is offered through a variety of delivery modes, with an emphasis on small class sizes, classroom engagement, and environments designed to support students’ learning and success. Courses are supported through Moodle/Collaborate. For more details on the program, contact the Department of Child and Youth Study via our Administrative Assistant, Sandra Schnare

Our Department is committed to laying the groundwork for future leaders in the ECE and Child and Youth care fields. Your BA(CYS) degree will also prepare your for further education and professional preparation in Child and Youth Study, Education, Speech Language Pathology, Child Life and Social Work.

Child and Youth Study Faculty Welcome  

The Dept. of Child and Youth Study introduces its newest faculty: Dr. Catherine Baillie Abidi (Assistant Professor, tenure track), Ms. Taylor Hansen (Lecturer, 2022-23 term), Dr. Jamie Leach (Assistant Professor, tenure track), Ms. Jennifer Miller (Laboratory Instructor – Practicum Coordinator)

Dr. Baillie Abidi holds a PhD in Educational Studies from St. FX. She has extensive experience in the fields of child protection and humanitarian services most recently as the Director of Research & Learning at the Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace and Security. Dr. Baillie Abidi’s research program focuses on violence prevention, and particularly on preventing the recruitment and use of children in armed violence, leading to new social policy and enhanced children’s rights frameworks. Some of you will be familiar with Dr. Baillie Abidi through her having previously taught at the Mount. She can be contacted at

Ms. Hansen holds a MA (Child and Youth Study) from the Mount. Ms. Hansen has previously taught in the Department as a part-time instructor. She has extensive experience in direct work with children and youth including creating and operating Childspace Early Learning, as Early Childhood Educator with the Mount’s Child Study Centre, as English as an Additional Language educator in Georgia and Korea, and as Child & Youth Care practitioner for the Boys & Girls Club (Ottawa). Ms. Hansen is involved in research through publications and presentations, and is the NS coordinator for the BRIGHT Coaching Study (IWK Autism Research Centre). She can be contacted at

Dr. Leach holds a PhD in Education (Specialization: Child Studies) from Concordia U. She has extensive experience in the areas of early childhood education and mental health services including having held positions as an elementary educator in rural and urban areas and in counselling and program development services with children and youth. Most recently she has been Assistant Professor in the Bachelor of Early Childhood Curriculum Studies at MacEwan University. Dr. Leach’s research program focuses on children’s communications with each other during play, partnerships between families and early childhood educators including those in rural areas. She can be contacted at

Ms. Miller holds a M.Ed from the Mount, and is the Department’s first full time permanent Practicum Coordinator. This role includes oversite of the 4 practica requirements, responsibility for student placements, and development of new sites in areas such as early childhood, diverse needs, and youth services. As a part-time faculty member Ms. Miller has been the Department’s Practicum Coordinator since July 2019, has supervised practicum students, and taught undergraduate courses. She brings a breadth of skills vital to strengthening the Department’s role in supporting the needs of children, youth and families. She can be contacted at


Child and Youth Study Faculty Welcome (

Statement by the Department of Child and Youth Study on the discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children

We, the faculty, graduate students and staff of the Department of Child and Youth Study, Mount Saint Vincent University, would like to express our utmost grief and heartache at the discovery of the human remains of 215 Indigenous children, at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, in the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, B.C. We can only imagine the pain and suffering that the families and communities of these lost children are going through.

This horrific revelation is another confirmation of our country’s disastrous legacy of Indigenous residential schools and its long-standing, collective effort to eradicate Indigenous cultures, languages, and way of life. The destructive legacy of Canada’s Indian Residential School system has impacted virtually every Indigenous family. The adverse traumatic effects that it has wrought upon Indigenous communities still resonate to this very day. Our department condemns these misguided attempts and points to the need to uncover the complete truth of Indigenous residential schools, as a necessary condition of reconciliation. We believe it is not only our duty, as a department and institution of higher learning, but as human beings to remember the children, the innocent victims of Canada’s residential school system and appropriately honour them.

We stand in solidarity with the First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities of this country and support them in finding the truth about these lost children and, most crucially, in seeking accountability. These transgressions must not be swept under the rug, nor Indigenous voices silenced. Indigenous peoples must have their voices heard in our governments, schools, and cultural institutions, for these are the ways to move forward in good faith and partnership. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the Indigenous families, communities, and residential school survivors who are now mourning those who have been lost and are now found.

We also call for action on the part of our governments and educational institutions in implementing all of the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as well as the Calls to Justice of the Final Report of the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

This information may trigger unpleasant feelings or thoughts of past abuse. Those in need of support can call the 24-hour Residential School Crisis Line 1-866-925-4419.