Working Towards An Integrated System of Child Care, Early Learning AND Family Support
Family Support is the "missing link" in advancing an approved provincial early years framework in BC. Early Childhood Development (ECD) includes all programs and services for families with young children. These programs and services include prevention and family support programs, early intervention programs, intervention programs, early learning programs and child care services.
FRP-BC's Family Support project focuses on the prevention and early intervention programs and services delivered by community service organizations (most of whom are a member of FRP-BC) ensuring agencies such as yours are recognized as locations for the government's strategy to implement Early Years Centres (EYC).
Services for families in BC are fragmented. As described and outlined in our Social Innovation Discussion Paper (2011), the BC Parenting Centre Concept (1-pager) and the Literature Review of Integration of Early Years Programs and Services (co-written with MCFD), effectively linking early child development programs and other family support/development services provides a cost effective continuum of support services for BC families with young children, particularly those with vulnerabilities.
FRP-BC believes Early Years Centres need a strong foundation that includes a comprehensive system of Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs and services, a set of clearly articulated standards of practice and relevant educational training that focuses on providing family support skills to practitioners working with vulnerable families.
"Research shows that quality practical information, family support and early interventions are the best ways to ensure children get the best possible start in life. When parents are confident in their role of parenting, children thrive."
Research from other provinces who have implemented Early Childhood Development (ECD) or Early Years Strategies into provincial plans and policies include:
- New Brunswick
- Prince Edward Island
Additional work on this project has included developing a diagram showing our concept of a Hub and Spokes model, Regional Maps showing where Family Resource Programs are located across BC, and an Agency Program Data Report intended to record all pertinent data from each agency operating one or more Family Resource Programs.
We will be collecting additional data from all members in 2015. For now FRP-BC is focusing on a small group of our members to provide a provincial snapshot that includes all regions and types of multi-service organizations. Our goal is to demonstrate that the concept of Early Years Centres already exists through the depth and breadth of programs and services provided by community service agencies across BC and that these agencies be identified by the Early Years Office as the home for MCFD's branded Early Years Centres. Approximately 90% of all community service agencies providing early years and family support services (prevention/early intervention) are current members of FRP-BC.
Video Presentation - Alberta's Parent Link Centres
Below is a link to a presentation about Alberta's Parent Link Centres (APLC). Alberta's Parent Link Centres are one of the 4 models of successful service delivery in the Early Years Literature Review, developed in partnership between MCFD and FRP-BC.
This presentation was delivered at FRP-BC's 2011 Annual General Meeting