An Op Ed piece written by a Director and the Assistant Executive Director of The Muttart Foundation to support National Child Day on November 20th.

November 20th marks National Child Day in Canada, the day when we wear royal blue ribbons to show our support for the children in our lives and communities.

And yet for many who participate in the celebrations, the purpose behind day is often lost – a rather profound oversight given that the intent of National Child Day is to focus on the rights of children and our collective obligations to see that these rights are met.

This summary report outlines the major themes that emerged from a plenary forum with fifty-one participants involved in early childhood education and care in Alberta, hosted by The Muttart Foundation and Success By 6.

The plenary forum was organized both to review findings from a series of five regional forums organized to discuss the Foundation’s paper “A Plenary Discussion of Early Childhood Education and Care in Alberta”and to consider the broad outlines of a possible path forward for strengthening early childhood education and care in the Province.

In fall 2010, the Foundation released a discussion paper entitled ‘In the Best Interests of Children and Families: A Discussion of Early Childhood Education and Care in Alberta’. The paper was developed to stimulate discussion on how Alberta might best approach the funding and delivery of early childhood education and care in Alberta. Following release of that paper, the Foundation, with support from its local partners, hosted five regional forums across the province to consider the ideas presented in that paper.
This current report summarizes the key themes that emerged from those discussions and provides a synthesis of participants’ thoughts and responses to the discussion paper.

In the Best Interests of Children and Families: A Discussion of Early Childhood Education and Care in Alberta

Released in November 2010, the discussion paper provides an overview of the current funding and delivery of early childhood education and care in Alberta as well as an alternate vision for how early childhood education and care can be approached and supported to better meet the needs of Alberta’s children and their families.

In conjunction with the release of the discussion paper, the Foundation held five discussion forums in Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Calgary, Red Deer and Medicine Hat/Lethbridge to allow key stakeholders the opportunity to consider the paper and begin a broader dialogue on the options it presented for advancing the funding and delivery of early childhood education and care (2010-2011).

A Synthesis of Regional Discussions

The Foundation contracted the HR Council for the Nonprofit Sector to undertake an exploratory study of leadership development in social service charities in the Foundation’s funding area. The study reveals some of the challenges small and mid-sized social service charities face in supporting staff development. To read the study, please click here.