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Based on the research findings, we identified 12 core planning priorities to help strengthen families and children and build healthy communities:

  • early identification of special needs and early intervention
  • ESL support for children and families
  • enriched kindergarten experience
  • gender school readiness issues
  • community use of schools
  • child care services
  • family resource programs
  • culture, leisure, and recreation programs
  • support for family life transition events
  • collaborative relationships
  • community participation
  • alternative funding sources

An action planning report is currently being developed. It will include specific strategies to address the action areas.

Overview of the 12 priority action areas

Early identification of special needs and early intervention

  • develop and implement screening and assessment tools to help identify children earlier who are at risk for school failure

ESL support for children and families

  • provide affordable and accessible services, programs, and supports in kindergarten as well as during pre-school years to help children and families develop English language proficiency

Enriched kindergarten experience

  • help children appreciate the importance of schooling, develop feelings of self-efficacy, and support academic, social, and emotional growth
  • expand kindergarten from a half-day to a full day program to enhance school readiness

Gender school readiness issues

  • provide boys with instructional strategies and resources to engage them in the learning process
  • provide boys with positive role models during kindergarten (male teachers, teaching assistants, and classroom volunteers)

Community use of schools

  • develop neighbourhood activities and services through schools for families with pre-school and school-age children

Child care services

  • ensure a range of affordable, accessible, and flexible high quality child care experiences and programs

Family resource programs

  • develop programs to strengthen parenting, help families meet their basic needs, encourage community involvement, and promote parental economic development

Culture, leisure, and recreation programs

  • develop accessible culture, leisure, and recreational activities and services

Support for family life transition events

  • provide support to families around births, deaths, marriages, divorces, moving, employment, health, healthy child development, day care, kindergarten, getting ready for school, and changes in country, culture, and language

Collaborative relationships

  • ensure service providers, school boards, community agencies, public bodies, businesses, and governments work together to become more creative, knowledgeable, and coordinated

Community participation

  • let parents/families/caregivers know what services and resources are available in the community
  • include residents in planning services for the community

Alternative funding sources

  • find alternative funding sources for time, space, equipment, and funding
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