· The early years are important for children’s development and well-being.
· A child’s family and community are key influences on the child’s development and overall well-being.
· Research and knowledge are critical for informed policies and programs that enhance early childhood development.
· Effective communities mobilize their citizens and resources to find creative, comprehensive ways to address challenges facing their residents.
Part of UEY’s research interest is to determine the extent to which school children in the Selkirk-Interlake area are ready for learning when they enter school in Kindergarten. UEY research can help guide decision-making around programming and professional development. It can also shed light on opportunities for community resource development that will help to ensure all children are ready for learning by the time they start school.
For a sampling of how educational organizations in other Canadian communities have benefited from UEY, click here
Teachers Play a Critical Role in UEY Success
Since student assessments in Year 2 are conducted either directly by Kindergarten teachers or by UEY interviewers in the schools, teacher participation and support of UEY are critical to its success.
During the 2008-09 school year, Kindergarten teachers will once again complete the Early Developmental Instrument (EDI) survey. The Lord Selkirk School Division has been participating in the EDI survey since 2002. The information collected with the EDI survey is analyzed and returned to each school focusing on the strengths and possible weaknesses of students. This data can be used by schools and teachers to plan any programming they may want to change as a result of the EDI.
On-going collaboration with teachers is also needed for the PIDACS (Parent Interview and Direct Assessment of Children Survey) which takes place in the 2008-09 school year. This collaboration will include sending parents information about PIDACS, collecting parent permission forms, and correspondence with the UEY coordinator and researcher.
The cooperation, collaborating, and engagement of principals and teachers is important to the success of this process.
Direct Assessment Tools (Change these to fit current project)
The direct assessment of children tools that are part of the PIDACS in the 2008-09 school year are:
· Picture Vocabulary – looks at receptive or hearing vocabulary, words children use for things that they see
· Who am I? – looks at copying and printing skills related to early literacy and the understanding of shapes
· Number Knowledge – looks at the understanding of numbers, counting, number sequence, simple arithmetic.
The Understanding the Early Years initiative is funded by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. For further information, visit www.hrsdc.gc.ca