Early Childhood Education Action Congress June 23 2016

OECD presentation

The 1st Early Childhood Education Action Congress was held in Paris, France, on June 6 and 7, 2016, hosted by OECD Paris. Science of Early Child Development was one of the Congress partner organizations and Janet Jamieson served on the steering committee.

The Congress goal was to build “support among key leaders in diverse countries to expand quality early education for all children, birth to 6”. The sessions considered: what the evidence says about the period of early human development, how to scale up successful programs, why it is important to encourage new advocates and champions from outside of early years fields, how to encourage partnerships to support broad–based initiatives, how to communicate complex information to a variety of audiences, and how to move the early childhood agenda forward.

Janet Jamieson of Red River College and Sheila Manji of the Aga Khan Foundation presented the Science of ECD in as part of a session on messaging. The Honourable Margaret McCain presented information on Canadian early childhood policy and practice. To see her presentation click here. Kerry McCuaig, a Fellow in Early Childhood Policy at the Atkinson Centre, OISE/University of Toronto, wrote a synopsis of the 1st Early Childhood Education Action Congress.  Click here to read the synopsis and learn about Congress key messages.

Unprecedented demand for the Introduction to SECD online courses April 05 2016

SECD course on computerThe demand has been extremely high for the winter series of the Introduction to SECD online course. Courses filled up very quickly, requiring us to add more cohorts.

Feedback from students continues to inspire us. It is clear that people who work with children and families benefit when they explore and reflect on ways to promote healthy development in the early years. Here’s a sample of comments from recent students:

“I absolutely LOVED this course! I learned so much and got a better understanding. It was great to be able to work at my own pace and I found that unlike other online schooling I've done in the past, I actually looked forward to using this site each and every week.” 

“The discussion assignments were very good, I gained knowledge from my discussion as I was writing it and also from the others in my group.” 

“(What I liked best was) how much I learned and how differently I look at my work and my job now. And I feel like I understand the children better.” 

Upcoming sessions:

April 14 – class full         

May 12 – limited space available 

Click here for registration information.

New Initiative – Online Professional Development Workshops October 22 2015

The Science of Early Child Development team is proud to announce a unique training initiative. We have partnered with the Manitoba Child Care Association to provide online workshops as part of their line-up of professional development offerings. In these workshops, registered participants access Science of Early Child Development (SECD) content (videos, readings, links, games, discussions) and “meet” each other in an online platform. During a two-week period, participants choose the times and locations most suitable for them to work through the material, making it convenient, flexible and ideal for people who cannot make it to a face-to-face session!

A facilitator oversees each workshop by welcoming, orienting and guiding participants. Participants will explore websites; do short readings; watch videos of experts, children and programs; and play interactive review games. Ultimately, by exploring the engaging content and then sharing ideas and reflecting with other participants in the online learning community, participants can enhance their work with children and families. 

The first workshop, Focusing on play, is scheduled from November 23 to December 7, 2015. Topics include the value of play for learning and development, the role of play in self-regulation, and risky, active and outdoor play. Click here for more information and registration.  A next session, on positive guidance, will run in early 2016.

SECD Goes North June 24 2015

In early June, Janet Jamieson visited the Thompson campus of the University College of the North to present newer SECD materials, discuss why the ECE program at RRC undertook this project and support ECE faculty in using SECD more extensively with their students.

The ECE program at UCN is firmly grounded in reflecting northern Manitoba’s rich Aboriginal cultural and community context. They also want to expose ECE students to a wide range of current research and program examples from Canada and around the world. Instructors have had a projection license for some time and are now adopting the SECD- Introductory edition and the Child Development Primer for student use. They are also considering the International edition for classroom projection. Like many similar regions in Canada, Manitoba’s north has a large and diverse Aboriginal population and a burgeoning population of newcomers from all over the world.  With campuses in Thompson and The Pas, and as well as  regional centres and programs in First Nations communities, UCN provides an integrated college and university approach to offer northern Manitobans greater access to post-secondary education.

Generous support from The Lawson Foundation enables an SECD team member to assist colleges and universities to use the resources with their students.  It is exciting to see the reach of SECD resources right here in Manitoba!

SECD- A Student’s Perspective May 28 2015

Rebecca LaRiviere has been using the Science of Early Child Development for over five years now.  Rebecca was first introduced to SECD as a student of Red River College’s Early Childhood Education Workplace Program.   As the “textbook” assigned for the program, Rebecca purchased a license from the college bookstore.  She admits she was unsure of what she was buying, and wondered what this resource even was.  “The first assignment I had in the program required us to use SECD to research a topic.  After that, I was hooked.”

Rebecca went on to complete the Workplace Program using SECD throughout.  “The videos were really interesting, and really helped us to understand the concepts.”   She also appreciated that the resource was easy to navigate, “With such a range of topics and with so much content, it was great that I could find what I wanted when I needed it.” 

It was during her studies while using SECD that Rebecca found information about the Abecedarian Approach to early learning.  The Abecedarian Approach is an intervention that helps children develop and enhance their language skills, a key for lifelong learning and success.  Rebecca is now the Team Leader and Abecedarian peer mentor at Manidoo Gi-Miini Gonaan located in Lord Selkirk Park in Winnipeg.  “I still use SECD and find I regularly reference it.  I often go back to it as I work with and mentor staff using this approach.  The concepts throughout the resource help support ECE staff to do their important jobs.”

“I really liked that the resource shows examples and research from around the world.  It makes you realize that certain things are universal, we all want the best start for children.”


SECD Seminar Series Training Session May 11 2015

Red River College has partnered over the last six years with the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) to contextualize the Science of Early Child Development (SECD). From April 20 to 24, a group of 34 people from 16 different countries came together at the Ismaili Centre in Dubai for a one-week training session on using the SECD Seminar Series in their context. The days included reflections on the AKDN SECD journey, exploring new SECD materials, microteaching and ideas for the future. Everyone benefited from sharing and learning from each other.

"I would like to appreciate the SECD training organizers, facilitators and my fellow participants. It was a wonderful experience especially since it brought together different people from different countries working in different organizations, different departments, different languages but again common interest and common target beneficiaries." 
Barke Ramadhan, Madrasa Early Learning Program,
Mombasa, Kenya

"The opportunity I recently had to attend SECD short modules - Facilitator Training in Dubai came as huge balloon of oxygen to confirm through sharing experiences with colleagues and facilitators all what I have learned on [the] previous SECD course. I am feeling confident to continuously share the SECD knowledge to all who are interested in life-long health and well-being for orphaned and vulnerable children in Mozambique."
Pedro Maunde, ECD Project Manager CARE
Mozambique, Inhambane province

"Thank you all for the wonderful experience during our recent training in Dubai. I know that I have come away from the sessions with a deeper insight into how I can improve my delivery of the training material. I look forward to our SECD journey together."
Saira Nazarali, Singapore


SECD seminars and courses used to support ECD development in Africa April 20 2015

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, in partnership with the Aga Khan Foundation and its partners in the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), are improving support to young children affected by HIV and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. Through the project, the Aga Khan University – Institute for Human Development (AKF IHD) offers a series of in-person and online seminars and courses in the Science of Early Child Development.

Over the next few years, SECD seminars will take place in Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique in English, Kiswahili and Portuguese. These will be complemented by an online SECD course, which will eventually be part of an accredited degree program through AKU IHD. The courses will reach over 150 professionals implementing programs in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia. To learn more, click here.

SECD featured in MCIC's "We're Making a Difference" video series February 04 2015

As part of their celebration of the 25th International Development Week, The Manitoba Council for International Cooperation has produced five video profiles of innovative Manitobans who are contributing their time and effort in the areas of international development and social justice.

Janet Jamieson, Research Chair of the School of Health Sciences and Community Services, Red River College, was featured as one such Manitoban. Janet and the SECD team are passionate and committed to sharing the knowledge about the vital importance of early child development. Watch the video as Janet describes what SECD really is and how it is being used at home and around the world.

To learn more about MCIC visit their website at

SECD recognized as Feds launch new fund to strengthen communities, support social innovation research in Canadian colleges January 14 2015

The Hon. Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), recently announced a new Community and College Social Innovation Fund that will increase colleges’ capacity to engage in collaborative projects with community organizations and businesses to address such social issues as poverty, crime prevention, community safety and economic development.

“Our government understands that local community organizations are essential in addressing social issues like economic development, poverty, education and integration in Canadian communities,” says Holder (shown above, fifth from left). “The Community and College Social Innovation Fund will connect the innovative talent of researchers and students at colleges and polytechnics to meet the research needs of local community organizations to build stronger, safer, healthier communities.”

The Science of Early Child Development (SECD) was featured as an excellent example of such projects. Working with community and international partners, SECD is making the current science available to anyone who is interested in learning more about the profound impact of early child development on the health and well-being of both individuals and communities.

“We created a terrific online learning resource that is making a real contribution to the quality of education and training of parents, social workers, early child educators, nurses and other professionals working on the front line with children and families, not only here in Winnipeg, but across Canada and around the world,” says Janet Jamieson, Research Chair of the School of Health Sciences and Community Services and project lead for SECD, Red River College.

Holder made his announcement from RRC’s Roblin Centre, where he also met with Janet Jamieson, to discuss her department’s initiative.

Administered through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the fund allows colleges and polytechnics to partner with community organizations and businesses to apply for funding of up to $200,000 (plus an additional 20 per cent to offset overhead and administrative costs) to undertake collaborative projects that address community issues.

The new fund will provide $15 million over three years in support of social innovation projects, which could take the form of products, processes or programs that create positive social outcomes for communities.

“Social innovation requires breakthrough ideas, applied research and community collaboration,” says David Rew, Interim President of RRC. “We welcome the government’s recognition that colleges like RRC are instrumental in making meaningful contributions to advancing solutions to issues that face communities, not only in Manitoba, but [throughout the globe].”

Winter sessions dates for online course January 08 2015

Did you know that SECD offers a 40 hour online course?

Winter session start dates:

Feb. 19/15
Mar. 19/15

Want to explore the resource in a structured and in-depth way? Interested in a convenient and content rich professional development experience? Need to fill a provincial training requirement for Child Care Assistants or family child care providers?

Red River College offers a 10-week online course that uses readings, videos, and interactive games from the Science of Early Child Development (Introductory Ed.) to provide knowledge of child development and best practice. Online discussions engage participants and expand learning. Participants complete the work where and when they like.

Past participant comments:

“I really loved the fact that I could do the course from home. Also at my own pace. That helped me alot!”

“I found it easy to work through and I like that you could chat with others working through it as well.”

“The best.....I can use all my skills at my work place.”

For a preview of the SECD resource, click here. To register, click here or call 204-694-1789 or 1-866-242-7073 (toll free).

RRC releases documentary on Cuba's education system January 05 2015

Made possible by funding from the Bernard van Leer Foundation (The Hague), Educa a tu Hijo is a documentary by Red River College’s School of Health Sciences & Community Services featuring Cuba’s renowned integrated early childhood system.

Despite very challenging economic circumstances, Cuba has the highest literacy and health outcomes in Latin America. The documentary was developed in Spanish for Latin American audiences, as well as in English, to be included in RRC’s Science of Early Child Development (SECD) resource. Click here to view Educa a tu Hijo.
Red River College University of Toronto AKDN - Aga Khan Development Network