Addressing the Achievement Gap Through Pre-primary (2017-2018)
This research project is investigating how Nova Scotia’s Pre-primary Program is addressing the achievement gap through ensuring equal opportunities for early childhood education, taking into account societal and community barriers and diversity. This research is funded by the Inter University Research Network (Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development).
In order for the Pre-primary Program to provide high-quality early childhood education, recruitment and retention of trained early childhood educators is required. Students enrolled in the Mount Saint Vincent University Child and Youth Study program and Nova Scotia’s Early Childhood Education training programs with a Mount Saint Vincent/Child and Youth articulation agreement (Nova Scotia Community College, Nova Scotia College of Early Childhood Education, The Jane Norman College and Université Saint Anne) were recruited to complete a survey.
The survey examined how the introduction of the Pre-primary program is influencing future Early Childhood Educators in terms of their perception of changes in workforce opportunities and their expectations about future employment. The results will provide information to help inform decision-making around the training, education, recruitment and employment in Early Childhood Education/Child and Youth related sectors.
Expanding Connections to Support Early Childhood Development in Nova Scotia
The ECCRC is hosting a series of curated, thematic seminars exploring different early childhood topics (including responsive feeding, social-emotional learning, supporting children with autism, play-based learning). The seminars occur simultaneously across three communities in Nova Scotia. Each session includes a presentation with topic-specific content, storytelling, and facilitated discussion with early childhood stakeholders, especially Early Childhood Educators. Check out a recording of our first seminar here.
Increasing Access to an Affordable Program Focused on Movement and Outdoor Play: Evaluation of the Before and After Pre-primary Program Pilot
From January to June 2019, the Nova Scotia Departments of Education and Early Childhood Development and Communities, Culture, and Heritage piloted a demonstration project, providing onsite programming focused on movement, outdoor play, and physical literacy.
We conducted a developmental evaluation to determine how the shared standards and pilot implementation influenced access to affordable, quality programming for children and their families, and how it influenced the awareness and skills of early childhood educators and recreation practitioners in movement, physical literacy and outdoor play. Results will be shared soon!
Mobilizing Connections to build early childhood partnerships in Nova Scotia
Through the Connection Grant funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Dr. Jessie-Lee McIsaac is leading an effort to respond to the needs of families by developing collaborations, sharing best practices and mobilizing research results.
In Fall 2018, a group of multi-sector participants working in early childhood research, policy and practice in Nova Scotia came together to strengthen collaborations between researchers and policy/practice stakeholders to promote collective learning, strengthen future research partnerships, while also supporting program development and policy refinement. The event met two specific objectives:
1.Support knowledge mobilization between academic and non-academic early childhood stakeholders in Nova Scotia and across Canada.
2.Identify opportunities to enable future collaborations among researchers, policy makers and practitioners in Nova Scotia and across Canada.
Existing early childhood collaborative partnerships within Nova Scotia were strengthened and new connections between stakeholders working in research, policy and practice were encouraged. The event also enhanced skill development for students in early childhood research and knowledge mobilization to support future research training and professional aspirations. Priority actions were discussed to identify opportunities for future collaborations between stakeholders. Stay tuned for future developments!
Supporting Young Children and Their Families Through Seamless Access to Play-based Learning Programs: Evaluating Nova Scotia’s Early Years Centres and Pre-primary Program
This five-year evaluation was conducted on behalf of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development with funding provided by the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation.
We looked at the province’s Early Years Centres and Pre-primary Programs, with the goal of understanding how they can be integrated into the existing school system to best support children, families, and care providers. Gathering data for this project involved a wide array of methods including interviews, focus groups, school visits, an online family survey, and the administration of the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale Third Edition (ECERS-3).