A key element of this community-based model of professional development is the role of the community pedagogical facilitator. Participating educators described the importance of this skilled role in holding the project together, in their own growing confidence to try new things and share ideas, and in their sense of increased connection and communication with those in and beyond the project. Another vital element of this model relates to time. Every project group talked about the importance of time in terms of establishing and building relationships among educators in the group, with their own centres, and in the community, as well as between educators and the pedagogical facilitator.
Through the project, educators were supported to (re)imagine and practice quality care, through their own local and contextual factors, and to consider the influence these factors have on their early years programming. Educators were also supported in their efforts to enhance children’s learning opportunities, experiences, and outcomes in early learning and child care settings. Through the project, educators reported increased facilitative relationships with children, families, and colleagues, and increased experimental and innovative relationships and practices with materials and environments.
Since 2005, the IQ Project (2005–2011) and the Community Facilitators Project (2011–current) has fostered a “made in BC” approach to promoting quality child care. This approach has been incorporated into university-level curriculum and into additional outreach, research, and communications activities pursued by project staff and directors. Two books have been published from the project (Pacini-Ketchabaw, 2010; Pacini-Ketchabaw et al., 2015) as well as numerous book chapters (e.g., Pacini-Ketchabaw, Kocher, Sanchez, & Chan, 2009) and articles. This work is generating interest and engagement from educators and communities across BC, promoting new approaches to quality child care in BC and the continued implementation of the BC Early Learning Framework (ELF). It has also generated interest outside of BC, recently referenced in Ontario’s new Kindergarten Program (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2016).
The evaluation shows that the project has generated significant changes in the way that participating educators carry out their daily practice in five main inter-connected areas: relationships with children, relationships with materials and environments, relationships with families and communities, pedagogical narration, and professional development. In all of these areas, educators report notable changes in their practice. The analysis also demonstrates that longer participation in the project promotes a deeper, more consistent integration of innovative ideas, theories, and approaches into everyday practice.
Also, this past year has seen an increase in the number and scope of outreach and communications activities on the part of project staff and participating educators. This work, which includes blogs, workshops, articles, presentations, and community partnerships, is helping to extend the reach of the project beyond the three project sites and is generating interest from educators around BC about innovative ways to promote quality child care.
The report is divided in five sections. The Introduction provides background information about the project, including its history, goals, and main components. The Methodology section describes the project participants and the methodology employed for the evaluation. In Project Activities, we describe initiatives undertaken in 2013-2014 to strengthen the delivery of the project, and progress to date in developing the new project site in Northern BC. In Project Outcomes, we present the main findings of the evaluation. In the Discussion section, issues and challenges that were encountered in the project are explored. The final section of the document discusses the overall findings of the report, and includes recommendations for the fourth year of the pilot project.
The evaluation findings indicate that the second year of the pilot project was successful. Educators consider the project activities to be of very good quality and highly relevant to their practice. Educators reported that they gained understanding of a wide range of issues that are relevant to their practice, and that they acquired a number of skills, including pedagogical documentation, which is important to the implementation of the BC Early Learning Framework in early years settings. The project helped to foster critical reflection among educators, enhanced learning opportunities for children, and greater family involvement. Educators who had participated in the project for two years reported greater gains than those who had participated for one year.
This document is an evaluation of the first year of the Community Early Learning and Child Care Facilitators Pilot Project, which began in October 2011 and concluded in June 2012.
The new pilot project incorporates the philosophy of the IQ project and some of its major activities, such as monthly learning circles for Early Childhood Educators, but incorporates a new Community Facilitator position. In the two pilot communities (Victoria and Coquitlam), community facilitators make regular visits to early years centres and collaborate with educators in documenting and reflecting on children's learning, introducing new materials, and transforming the early years environment to better support children’s learning. The project is also a key support to the continued implementation of the BC Early Learning Framework, introduced by the Ministry of Education in 2008.
Project continued engaging early childhood educators in professional learning. Through a series of six learning circles and a sharing circle, educators from across British Columbia engaged in discussions around meaningfully engaged practice with the goal of applying what they learned in these discussions in their practice settings.
The Investigating Quality (IQ) Early Learning Environments Project 2005–2009 has worked to broaden and deepen discussions on ‘quality’ in the field of early childhood care and development (ECCD) at local, provincial, federal and international levels. This report provides an overview of Phase II of the IQ Project, outlining activities and research that took place between April 1, 2007 and June 30, 2009.
The Investigating Quality Project worked toward broadening and deepening discussions on ‘quality’ in the field of early child care and development (ECCD).
Section I provides an overview of how we set out to accomplish this by taking into consideration the literature that includes alternative discourses/ideas about quality. The role and processes engaged in by care providers is reconceptualized in this literature.
Section II presents an overview of the promotion of diverse discourses on quality that were addressed through a series of forums with international early childhood education leaders.
Section III presents a discussion of how actively engaging early childhood educators in dialogue and action would lead to the formation of sustainable and innovative caregiving environments for young children.
Section IV addresses Aboriginal leadership and quality promotion. This aspect of the IQ Project was based on earlier experiences with the First Nations Partnerships Program (FNPP) and The Early Childhood Development Virtual University (ECDVU). Both were taken into account for addressing the Canadian Aboriginal context with a Professional Specialization Certificate in ECD designation from the University of Victoria. Participants in this program completed four core applied courses: a leadership course redeveloped and led by Ms. Cindy Blackstock, a highly respected national Aboriginal leader in child and family services; ECE programming and reconceptualizing courses led by Dr. Carmen Rodriguez de France, a recent PhD and promising Aboriginal academic in ECE; and Dr. Cathy Richardson, a recent PhD and Métis leader in child, youth and family, who revised and taught a Child Development in Context course.
Section V presents conclusions and recommendations for promoting the active engagement of various stakeholders in early childhood education and care in order to continue the field’s rejuvenation.