Dr. Jessie-Lee McIsaac and the Early Childhood Collaborative Research Centre (ECCRC) at Mount Saint Vincent University have been awarded a $271,903 grant through the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) Mental Health Promotion Innovation Fund that supports mental health promotion projects with a focus on reducing systematic barriers for vulnerable populations.

The grant will support the ECCRC’s program titled Engaging families in positive solutions for social-emotional learning during early childhood, which is led by Dr. Jessie-Lee McIsaac, Tier II Canada Research Chair in Early Childhood: Diversity and Transitions and Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education and Department of Child and Youth Study at Mount Saint Vincent University.

The parent training and engagement program is designed to complement an existing social and emotional learning program (called the Pyramid model). The ECCRC has partnered with the Nova Scotia Early Childhood Development Intervention Services (NSECDIS) to deliver online training sessions in early childhood centres in Nova Scotia. The program provides an opportunity for families of young children to strengthen parenting skills in social and emotional learning, healthy relationships, and pro-social behaviour. Parenting skills are addressed throughout the program, with the goal of providing parents with skills supported by evidence-based practices for social and emotional learning. The training sessions will be recorded and posted on the NSEDIS YouTube channel. More information about the project can be found on the ECCRC website.

Dr. McIsaac’s program of research is focused on enhancing well-being during early childhood by ensuring policy and practice support families as they transition across early learning environments. Dr. McIsaac and the Early Childhood Collaborative Research Centre’s goal is to develop policy-relevant research that ensures families have the support that they need.

The PHAC’s Mental Health Promotion Innovation Fund (MHP-IF) supports projects across multiple sites and jurisdictions to engage children and youth along with their caregivers from a variety of communities including Indigenous, newcomer and immigrant, and transgender groups.

Congratulations Dr. McIsaac and colleagues in the Early Childhood Collaborative Research Centre!