The Beaumont & Leduc Regional Early Childhood Coalition is a group of service providers, early childhood professionals and community members from Town of Beaumont, Leduc County, the City of Leduc, the Town of Devon, the Town of Calmar, the Village of Thorsby, the Village of Warburg and the Graminia area of Parkland County. This group plans and promotes community-based supports for young children and families in our regional, collaborative Early Childhood Development (ECD) community.
The role of the coalition is to:
- raise public awareness of the important of the early years
- spark community interest in actively supporting healthy development
- receive and share Community Information Packages with their communities
- interpret and respond to research information
- identify community resources and assets
- plan local initiatives to support young children and families
- apply for seed grants, if desired
WHY THE EARLY YEARS ARE SO CRITICAL
Communities play a fundamental role in helping children thrive and do well, yet studies across Alberta show that early childhood development is not well understood by the general public. Below is information provided by the Early Childhood Development Mapping Project Alberta (ECMap) on why the early years are so critical and therefore why our coalition is so passionate about the early years.
- The early years, from before birth to age five, set the course for a child’s future. Studies show that early development influences how well children do in school, their physical and mental health, job prospects, relationships and even income.
- More than one in four young children in Alberta and in Canada is experiencing difficulties in development by the age of 6.
- Children who grow up in poverty or with other social disadvantages are more likely to experience difficulties in development. The middle class has as a smaller percentage of vulnerable children, but the greatest numbers of vulnerable children come from middle class home because of the sheer size of the middle class in Canada.
WHY COMMUNITY COUNTS:
- Communities, as well as families and caregivers play an important role in children’s early development. Children’s early development also has far-reaching effects on communities.
- Communities can affect early development positivity or negatively.
- Studies show that children tend to do better in strong, supportive communities. Families that have access to high-quality supports and services are better able to help their children thrive. Community resources can offset the effect of poverty, toxic stress and other risk factors.
- Healthy early development is a collective concern and responsibility. The costs and benefits affect us all. By working together, communities, families and government can create positive environments for the healthy development of every child in Alberta.
Go to the “get involved” page to find out how you can contribute to this very worthwhile project.
The above information was extracted from the Alberta Government’s Information Sheet ECMap Early Child Development Mapping Project Alberta January 2013