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Healthy Child Development and the Early Years


Healthy Child Development and the Early Years Ontario Library Association (OLA) Super Conference February 1 4, 2012 Ministry of Children and Youth Services – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Healthy Child Development and the Early Years

Healthy Child Developmentand the Early Years
  • Ontario Library Association (OLA)
  • Super Conference
  • February 1 4, 2012

Ministry of Children and Youth Services
Starting Early to Support Success
  • The evidence is clear investing early supports
    children to achieve their full potential now and
    in the future.
  • The Ministry of Children and Youth Services
    (MCYS) is committed to giving children the best
    possible start in life and our Healthy Child
    Development programs play an important part in
    helping us meet that commitment.
  • Healthy Child Development programs include
    Healthy Babies Healthy Children, the Blind-Low
    Vision, Infant Hearing, Infant Development, Early
    Literacy Specialist and Preschool Speech and
    Language programs as well as Ontario Early Years
    Centres, the Enhanced 18-Month Well-Baby Visit
    and the Student Nutrition Program.
  • These programs support children and their
    families in all areas of child development,
    including speech and language, literacy, hearing
    and vision, nutrition and parenting and family

With Our Best Future in Mind
  • Based on the work of Dr. Charles Pascal and
    continuing the implementation of Best Start, MCYS
    is supporting Best Start Hubs with a goal of
    expanding seamless services for children and
    their families. The ministry is funding 4
    community-wide action research projects in
    London, Sudbury, Hastings-Prince Edward and
    Toronto. Through an additional Innovation Fund,
    MYCS is also supporting 16 community projects in
    15 communities to focus on service integration.
  • Seven communities have been selected by MCYS, the
    Ministry of Education (MEDU) and the Ministry of
    Health and Long-term Care (MOHLTC) to demonstrate
    the provision of speech and language services for
    children from age 0 to Grade 3 in ways that are
    more effective, seamless and supportive of
    childrens key transitions.
  • The findings from all of these projects will
    guide future policies, strategies and processes
    in developing programs and services for young
  • Libraries can play an important in supporting
    service integration by participating in local
    planning, working with community partners,
    inviting programs to use library space or taking
    library programs to community locations, acting
    as service hubs.

The Critical Importance of Literacy The
  • Educational attainment is essential to lifelong
    security. Eighty percent of children identified
    with a speech and/or language delay are at risk
    for difficulties in developing their reading
    skills. Students who do not learn to read by
    Grade 3 have a 75 percent chance of never
    becoming literate and never graduating from high
    school (Catts, 2002).
  • Literacy supports child and family health and
    well-being. Low parental literacy levels are
    associated with poverty (Association of Food
    Banks, 2008) and adverse paediatric health
    outcomes, including infant mortality (Green,

The Critical Importance of Literacy The
  • Our diverse society impacts services. Children of
    new immigrant families take seven to eight years
    to achieve the Canadian literacy norm. If
    literacy skills continue to be deficient, these
    children will show a 20 wage earnings gap as
    compared to native-born Canadians (Canadian
    Language and Literacy Research Network, 2009).
  • Parents are critical
  • - Parents involvement in their childrens
    schooling and aspirations for their childrens
    educational achievement are important factors in
    improving reading ability, particularly for
    students from disadvantaged backgrounds
    (Canadian Education Statistics Council, 2009).
  • - Reading improves most when parents read books
    with their child, when they talk about things
    they have done during the day and when they tell
    stories to their children (Organization of
    Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD),
    Programme for International Student Assessment
    (PISA) 2009).

Realizing Our Potential Our Children, Our
Youth, Our Future
  • The MCYS strategic goals are
  • Every child and youth has a voice.
  • Every child and youth receives personalized
  • Everyone involved in service delivery contributes
    to achieving common outcomes.
  • Every child and youth is resilient.
  • Every young person graduates from secondary

Implications for Literacy
  • We cannot improve childrens school success
    unless we support their development of early
    language and literacy skills.
  • We know that there is a clear relationship
    between a childs early language development and
    his/her literacy skills.
  • We also know that one of the best ways to improve
    childrens language and literacy skills is to
    give their parents the knowledge and skills they
    need to support their childrens development.
  • The long-reaching implications of poor literacy
    skills make it critical for us to get to children
    early and prevent problems before they begin.
    The chances of later social isolation, economic
    hardships and decreased resiliency can be
    significantly reduced if we reach children in the
    early years and support their development
    appropriately and effectively.
  • We know that early years programs must be
    personalized to fit the individual needs of the
    child as well as the needs of his/her family.
    Working together through our early years system
    we can help achieve the goal that every youth
    graduates from secondary school.

MCYS Healthy Child Development Programs
  • Public libraries are key partners in this
    ministrys early literacy programming.
  • Many MCYS programs are local partners with public
  • Screening
  • MCYS supports screening to both confirm normal
    development and flag concerns, including speech
    and language difficulties
  • Healthy Babies Healthy Children (HBHC) The
    program provides early identification and
    intervention services to women and their families
    in the prenatal period and to families with
    children from birth to their transition to
    school. HBHC provides screening for pregnant
    women and every new baby and mother. Based on
    this screening, a public health nurse determines
    whether the family would benefit from additional
    services of the HBHC program, including home
    visiting. HBHC promotes parenting and optimal
    physical, cognitive, communicative and
    psychosocial development in children.
  • Enhanced 18-Month Well-Baby Visit This visit is
    a developmental review and evaluation for
    children at 18 months of age completed by the
    primary health care provider in collaboration
    with parents. Tools for use at the visit support
    education, information and activities that
    promote literacy and communication in the early
    years (e.g. Rourke Baby Record, Nipissing
    District Developmental Screen - NDDS).
  • Upcoming 36-Month Developmental Screen Working
    towards a developmental screening that would
    include speech, language and literacy with the
    goal of support for transition to school.
  • Preschool Speech and Language (PSL)
  • The PSL Program identifies children with speech
    and language disorders as early as possible and
    provides these children and their families with
    services to enable them to develop communication
    and early literacy skills so they are ready to
    start school.
  • PSL services include
  • Early identification of children with speech and
    language disorders and delays
  • Simplified access through one toll-free number
    and direct parent referral
  • Assessment of children for speech and language
    disorders and
  • A range of age- and disorder-appropriate
    interventions (e.g. parent training, group
    therapy, one-on-one intervention).
  • Seven communities have been selected as speech
    and language demonstration sites. These sites
    are implementing varying models to improve speech
    and language services in their community,
    allowing the ministries to learn from their
    different experiences and outcomes.  An external
    evaluation and impact assessment of the
    demonstration sites (Fall 2011 to August 2012)
    will inform future changes to provincial speech
    and language services.

MCYS Healthy Child Development Programs
  • Ontario Early Years Centres (OEYCs)
  • OEYCs provide a variety of programs and services
    related to literacy, numeracy, health and
    nutrition, parenting workshops and seminars, as
    well as linkages to a wide range of other early
    years services.
  • Every OEYC offers programs designed to help
    parents support their children, and to help
    children be ready to achieve success in school.
    OEYCs achieve this goal by offering the following
    core services which are free to all parents and
    caregivers of young children
  • Early learning and literacy programs for parents
    and their children 
  • Programs to support parents and caregivers in all
    aspects of early child development 
  • Programs for new parents on pregnancy and
  • Book and resource lending programs
  • Links to other early years programs and services
    in the community to promote
  • community collaboration to support and promote
    effective early literacy and language
  • development and
  • Outreach activities to allow all parents to
    become involved with their local OEYC.
  • Early Literacy Specialists Program (ELSP)
  • ELSP strengthens, supports and promotes effective
    early literacy and language development for young
    children and their parents.
  • Forty-three lead agencies employ 63 early
    literacy specialists to deliver training and
    supports to early years professionals and parents
    to promote childrens early language and literacy
  • Early literacy specialists form linkages with
    other community-based early years
  • programs such as HBHC, PSL, child care centres
    and libraries to deliver programming
  • that improves childrens literacy and numeracy