Aboriginal ECERS

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Aboriginal ECERS

Canada
a
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

The Tsleil-Waututh Child and Family Development has operated for over eight years and are committed to providing the highest standard of quality care. In the ongoing pursuit of this goal, the staff chose to undertake an audit of the program using an internationally recognised standardised tool, the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale – Revised and the Infant Toddler Environmental Rating Score- Revised (ECERS/ITERS). A proposal was submitted to hire a third party consultant, with specialised education in inter rater reliability, to apply the scales and reduce potential bias. The proposal also asked the question: “How can the ECERS/ITERS be informed about future use in Aboriginal communities?”

The centre has an On-Reserve Aboriginal Head Start Program (AHS) and the manager and consultant decided to use the six guiding components of the AHS to inform the process. The six components (AHS Six) are: 1) Culture and Language; 2) Education; 3) Health Promotion; 4) Nutrition; 5) Social Support; and 6) Parent and Family Involvement.

The project has made a difference in immediate impacts by developing a solid baseline as well as improving and becoming more consistent in practice. Long-term benefits will be achieved by continually reflecting on practice, using the baseline and suggestions as guides. Other benefits were realised by having solid evidence to seek future funding to improve infrastructure and building upgrades.

The innovative piece to this project is in identifying future exploration in developing a culturally relevant scale. The project discovered a number of suggestions to support the development of and Aboriginal Addendum to the standardised ECERS/ITERS. Some of the 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.

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.

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 innovative piece to this project is in identifying future exploration in developing a culturally relevant scale. The project discovered a number of suggestions to support the development of and Aboriginal Addendum to the standardised ECERS/ITERS. Some of the 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.
Sustainability

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 British Columbia.
About You
About You
First Name

Marc

Last Name

Lalonde

Confirm a user name that will be displayed publicly to identify your entry

Aboriginal ECERS

About You, Your Group, or Your Organization
Name

Tsleil-Waututh nation

Country
Please confirm that this project could benefit First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples

Yes

Twitter URL
Youtube URL
What categories best describe who your group or organization serves (check all that apply)

First Nations people.

What best describes your group or organization

Early childhood (e.g. daycare, preschool).

How long have you, your group, or your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Innovation
Define your idea / project in 1-2 short sentences

This idea is to further develop the concept of an Aboriginal Addendum to the internationally recognised Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale – Revised, an

Select the stage that best applies to your solution

Social Impact
Please tell us about the social impact of your idea or proect

Initial results demonstrated immediate and long-term benefits of applying the standard ECERS/ITERS in one aboriginal setting. Suggestions for future use in First Nation’s, Metis and Inuit communities were identified by applying the six guiding principles of the Aboriginal Head Start Programs as an informative guide. 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. This pilot project was innovative by investigating how national guidelines, for an aboriginal program, can be used to inform an internationally recognised, standard tool to measure quality indicators

Your Future Goal(s): Tell us what you hope to achieve with your idea or project in the next year

To apply the ECERS/ITERS in other First Nations, Inuit and/or Metis settings to further explore a culturally safe application

In 5 years, what will be different as a result of your idea/project?

The initial project has awaken an interest and future possibilities could be achieved in stages. The next phase may take an additional two to three years to gather sufficient evidence, by applying the standard ECERS/ITERS in other First Nation's, Inuit and Metis child care settings. Phase three would develop a working draft of an Aboriginal Addendum for the ECERS/ITERS. Once the draft is complete, testing it in a variety of First Nation's, Inuit and Metis settings to complete final evaluation and draft. The final product could then be submitted for publication and delivered to other communities.

Sustainability
Tell us about the people/ partnerships that are already involved and why they are important to your idea or project.

The First Nations and Urban Aboriginal Early Childhood Development Steering Committee provided the initial funding for this pilot project to the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. Leona Howard was contracted as the third party consultant, with specialised education in inter-rater reliability, to apply the scales and offer advise on an addendum to ECERS/ITERS. Marc Lalonde, Manager of the Tsleil-Waututh Child & Family Development Centre and Leona Howard are willing to continue as partners and offer assistance to any further study.

If there are other people/partners that you will reach out to tell us who they are and why they will be important to your idea or project.

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 British Columbia.

Describe the kinds of support you receive (other than money) or will need to support your idea or project (e.g.: donated, space, equipment and volunteers)

Approximately 100 words left (800 characters).

Do you currently have funding for your idea or project?

No (skip next two questions)