Aboriginal ECERS

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Aboriginal ECERS

CanadaTsleil Waututh First Nation, Canada
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

This idea is to further develop the concept of an Aboriginal Addendum to the internationally recognised ECERS.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scales Revised and the Infant Toddler Environmental Rating Scales - Revised (ECERS/ITERS) are standardised tools to measure quality indicators in child care settings. They have been implemented in some Aboriginal settings and have proven to be useful, however, the ECERS/ITERS do not address the cultural components. The need is to develop an Aboriginal Addendum for the ECERS/ITERS which is culturally safe.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The project discovered a number of suggestions are to include indicators to identify: •Children being taught some of the language (alphabets, numbers, and labels of objects. •Fluent speakers visiting and interacting with the children. •Resource materials are made available to staff to incorporate and expand the aboriginal language. •Children engaged in activities representing the culture. •Elder involvement. •Staff understand families may experience barriers to accessing resources/services. •Staff convey respect for individual choice and lifestyles. •The centre provides multiple opportunities for families to interact with each other and to form informal support networks •Families are provided opportunities to learn and use the aboriginal language •Families are encouraged to take creative roles in establishing goals for their children and the program. •Families know their input and feedback will affect change. •Staff receive ongoing training in Aboriginal Culture.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

This pilot project was based on a one-time-only funding opportunity through the First Nations and Urban Aboriginal Early Childhood Development Steering Committee. The project has raised interests in a number of potential partners, specifically: the British Columbia Aboriginal Child Care Society; the First Nation’s Employment Society; and the Aboriginal Head Start Programs under Health Canada. The possibility of developing an Aboriginal Addendum for the ECERS/ITERS would appeal to a wide variety of funders due to its immediate impacts, as demonstrated in this project, and potential use in other aboriginal communities. The synergistic application of both ECERS/ITERS and AHS Six can provide objective, culturally safe standards of measuring quality care in First Nations, Inuit and Metis early childhood programs. The development and application of such a tool would support the ongoing process of enhancing learning by providing a solid base for children and families to build their educational future.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Although no further funding is being offered, at this time, there are a number of potential partners who are expressing interests in furthering this concept. The First Nations and Urban Aboriginal Early Childhood Development Steering Committee may want to continue supporting this project in the future. The British Columbia Aboriginal Child care Society is interested in partnering up with this project, which would provide valuable access to other child care facilities in aboriginal communities. The BC department for the Aboriginal Head Start Programs (Health Canada) is interested in supporting this endeavour, as well as the regional office for First Nations Employment Society, an independent society that is committed to improving education for all First Nation’s learners in BC.

Founding Story

We struggled with identifying what would support a more culturally safe application of the ECERS, until we started to think about the six components of the Aboriginal Head Start programs. These components provided an informative guide to explore how the ECERS could be more culturally safe in Aboriginal child care settings.
About You
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name
Organization Country

, BC, Tsleil Waututh First Nation

Country where this solution is creating social impact

, BC

Region in BC where your solution creates social impact


How long has your organization been operating?

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How long have you been in operation?

Still in idea phase, but looking to launch soon

Which of the following best describes the barrier(s) your solution addresses? Choose up to two


Social Impact
Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve

A culturally safe tool which can be used to measure quality indicators in Aboriginal child care settings

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

We have raised awareness of the potential to develop an Aboriginal Addendum to be used with the standardised ECERS. This has generated a great deal of interest from a cross the country and we are presently gathering more evidence of the need, a long with interested partners to support the effort.

What is your projected impact over the next five years?

Right now, our idea is the launching point for further discussion and discovery. We need to connect with other communities to identify what an Aboriginal Addendum could look like. Our plan id to implement an Appreciative Inquiry process to raise awareness of the potential and gather community input on the possibilities.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

The biggest barrier is simply the challenge of making sure we have enough community input into the development of a draft Addendum. In the present economic context, this challenge will be one of balancing costs with and an inclusive process. Once a draft is compiled it will need to be tested for applicability.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Secure funding to move forward

Task 2

Raise awaerness of the potential

Task 3

Bring interested partners and communities together to collaborate and dream together

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Develop a draft as a living document to be discussed and tested.

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Compile the information gathered and develop a living document

Task 2

Encourage the use and exploration of the initial document

Task 3

gather feedback for the initial document to continue the process of discovery and guide the inquiry.

Tell us about your partnerships

Tsleil-Waututh Nation and the Aboriginal Head Start Association of BC are providing executive support in kind

Are you currently targeting other specific populations, locations, or markets for your solution? If so, where and why?

We are actively gathering and informal working group, whihc includes Frist Nation's, Metis and Inuit representative.

What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?

Our present working group is providing staff time in-kind.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list