Strategic Plan. Durham District School Board Early Years, Child Care & After School Programs

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1 FULL DAY KINDERGARTEN NURSERY SCHOOL WELCOME TO KINDERGARTEN PARENT & FAMILY LITERACY HUBS CHILD CARE BEFORE & AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS EARLY YEARS SUMMER SCHOOL AFTER SCHOOL RECREATION PROGRAMS FULL DAY KINDERGARTEN NURSERY SCHOOL WELCOME TO KINDERGARTEN PARENT & FAMILY LITERACY HUBS CHILD CARE BEFORE & AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS EARLY YEARS SUMMER SCHOOL AFTER SCHOOL RECREATION PROGRAMS Durham District School Board Early Years, Child Care & After School Programs Strategic Plan

2 Contents Mission and Vision... 3 Current Research Why Are the Early Years Important... 4 Data: the Impact of Early Years EQAO & EDI... 5 The Key Purpose of Early Years Ministry of Education... 6 Early Years Key Responsibilities for School Boards... 7 Overview of Durham District School Board Early Years Programs... 8 Integration Continuum For Early Years in Durham District School Board Schools... 9 Early Years, Child Care & After School Programs/Three Year Strategic Plan

3 Strategic Plan Mission: The Durham District School Board (DDSB) supports the provision of quality Child Care services in its schools through DDSB approved licensed Child Care Operators. (DDSB Policy #1500) Vision: Ontario s children and families are well supported by a system of responsive, high-quality, accessible and increasingly integrated early years programs and services that contribute to healthy child development today and a stronger future tomorrow. (Ontario Early Years Policy Framework) Guiding Principles & Core Priorities to Support the Vision: The DDSB Early Years Priorities Are: Ready for School Closing the Entry/ Achievement Gap Integrated Model of Service with Strong Parental Engagement To support Ontario s vision for the Early Years, the DDSB is driven by four guiding principles of the Ontario Early Years Policy Framework: Programs and services are centred on the child and the family Programs and services are of high quality Strong partnerships are essential Programs and services are publicly accountable 3

4 Why Are the Early Years Important? Children s experiences early in life have a profound and long-lasting impact on their future development and well-being. The early years are a period of intense learning and development, when tremendous changes occur in the brain over a short period of time. In the first year of life, the architecture of the brain takes shape at an astounding rate approximately 700 new neural connections are being built per second. Scientists now know that this process is not genetically predetermined, but is in fact dramatically influenced by children s early experiences with people and their surroundings. Studies show that positive early years experiences lead to improved determinants of health, resulting in better social, economic, and health outcomes throughout the life cycle. The economic benefits of investments in the early years are also well-documented. Economist and Nobel laureate James Heckman calculates a seven-to-one return on public investment in programs for young children. More recently, TD Bank Chief Economist, Craig Alexander, noted that the widespread and long-lasting benefits of early childhood education programs far outweigh the costs. With so much potential to make a positive difference in the early years, it is imperative that we take a coordinated and thoughtful approach to the programs and services we provide. The Ontario Early Years Policy Framework builds on the immense progress made to date to support Ontario s children and their families in the early years. (Taken from 2013 Ontario Early Years Policy Framework p.4.-p.5) The Early Years Framework: Outlines a shared vision to help us better support children s learning and development from birth to age six; Focuses on easy access to quality programs and services; Moves towards an increasingly seamless service experience for children and families. 4

5 The Impact of Early Years EQAO & EDI One of the most significant insights about educational attainment in recent years is that educational outcomes in adolescence and even beyond can be traced back to academic skills at school entry. At the same time, it is important to note that children who start school lagging behind their peers in language and cognitive abilities are not doomed to be school failures and dropouts. To the contrary, early interventions can make substantial contributions to the academic skills of young children. Between 75% and 84% of students who were on track in kindergarten achieved the provincial standard on the Grade 3 EQAO assessment of reading, writing and mathematics, however, students who were not on track did not perform as well. Among kindergarten students who were vulnerable or at risk in one domain, those achieving the provincial standard ranged from 57% in reading to 67% and 68% in writing and mathematics respectively. Students with low EDI scores those in the vulnerable or at-risk groups are much less likely to achieve the provincial standard on all components of the Grade 3 EQAO reading, writing and mathematics assessment than those with high EDI scores those students deemed to be ready or very ready in kindergarten. This general finding applied regardless of gender, age, language background or special education needs status. The cohort of students who completed the EDI in 2008/2009, completed the Grade 3 EQAO assessments of Reading, Writing and Mathematics in 2011/ % of the students in the EDI group were matched with their achievement outcomes for the EQAO assessments. EDI is a strong predictor of performance/student achievement results in EQAO in the DDSB. This suggests that appropriate supports and interventions during both early years and the primary school years allowed many children who were not on track in kindergarten to address early challenges and proceed on a positive academic trajectory. (Taken from EQAO Research Starting Early: Teaching, Learning and Assessment Linking Early-Childhood Development with Academic Outcomes A Detailed Look, June 2013). 5

6 The Key Purpose of Early Years To create a system of responsive, high-quality, accessible, and increasingly integrated Early Years programs and services in schools that contribute to healthy child development, as outlined in the Ontario Early Years Policy Framework. To develop protocols, programs, standards, and strategies to ensure consistently high quality early years programs and services. To review, and apply performance measures and indicators, including the Early Development Instrument (EDI), to assess program success and children s progress over time. To develop a system plan to strengthen coordination of Full-Day Kindergarten (FDK), child care, parent support programs and Early Years services in each school community. The Ministry of Education Early Years Division will implement the Ontario Early Years Policy Framework, transforming early learning through Full-Day Kindergarten, modernizing Child Care and creating Best Start Child and Family Centres, leading to better outcomes for children and a more seamless experience for families. Early Years Division Ministry of Education Initiative Early Years Policies and Programs Child Care Quality Assurance Planning, Outcomes and Assessments 6

7 Early Learning Key Responsibilities for School Boards 1 Strategic Planning Build coherence through inclusion of Early Years priorities in the Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (BIPSA) and the District Review Process, in the context of related board and Ministry initiatives. Work in partnership with Consolidated Municipal Service Managers (CMSM) and District Social Services Administration Boards (DSSAB) to deepen system-level understanding of the regional child care service system plan, and develop related submissions for capital retrofits in child care under Ministry policy (eg: Replacement School Policy and EL4). Ensure senior staff, trustees, school leaders, and educators are kept well informed regarding steps towards the vision of an increasingly seamless service experience for children and families. Develop strategies to partner effectively with on- and off-site child care programs through an inclusive approach that brings staff, children, and families from the school and child care together in a variety of ways. Develop an outreach strategy, in partnership with appropriate staff (program leads, community outreach worker(s) etc.) to engage families and stakeholders regarding the vision of integrated service delivery. 2 Program Quality and Evaluation Lead the development of operational protocols and strategies as required to deliver high quality, play-based learning programs in FDK and ensure program continuity with child care and child and family centres. Lead program staff in identifying professional learning needs and developing a differentiated approach that recognizes the varying needs of staff in each year of FDK implementation, the varying quality of partnerships with child care, and the need for continuity between core and extended day programs. Provide regular opportunities for building coherence through sharing successes and new learning at Senior Leadership meetings with directors of education, superintendents, school-effectiveness leads, coordinating principals, and consultants. 3 Issues Management/Communications Ensure superintendents and school administrators have the information they need to address emerging operational and program needs and challenges. Establish structures to ensure regular communication with stakeholders to share information, address issues, and improve service delivery. Act as a liaison to the Early Learning Division through coordinating attendance at Ministry-led meetings, delivering on related requirements, and completing associated reports. Anticipate fiscal impacts of policy and program options, make recommendations and contribute to budget development to support effective implementation of full-day kindergarten, child care, and other early years initiatives. Ministry of Education 7

8 Overview of Durham District School Board Early Years Programs Name Descriptor Total Parent & Family Literacy Hubs Parent & Family Literacy Mini-Hubs Parent & Family Literacy Rotating Hubs Full Day Kindergarten Licensed Before and After School Programs Free program for children ages 0-6 and their parents and caregivers, which focuses on healthy childhood growth, development and early literacy programs (operates 5 to 7 days /week). Free program for children ages 0-6 and their parents and caregivers, which focuses on healthy childhood growth, development and early literacy programs (1 to 3 days a week). Free program for children ages 0-6 and their parents and caregivers, which focuses on healthy childhood growth, development and early literacy programs (1 to 2 days per week for 6 to 8 week program). FDK is entering year 4 of a five year implementation process. It is play-based purposeful learning programs (ages 4-5). The DDSB and community partners offer before and after school child care programs (FDK ages 4-5) (Gr. 1-6 ages 6-12) (Projected number for 2013/2014) 77 (Sept 2013) 107 (by Sept 2014 fall implementation) 57 (Gr 1-6) 41 (FDK Ext. Day) Recreational Programs The DDSB and community agencies offer after school recreation programs (for ages 6-12). 27 Preschool/ Nursery Schools Child Care Centres The DDSB and community agencies/partners offer nursery school programs in schools for children 2 to 4 years of age. Early Childhood Educators deliver developmentally appropriate activities two or three half days per week, helping young learners prepare for school (ages ). Qualified, licensed Child Care Operators provide child care for (up to 12 years of age) year olds in DDSB schools Welcome to Kindergarten To provide pre-school children (entering Kindergarten the following September) and their families with the resources to begin their formal education with a foundation in early learning nurtured in their homes. Families received a bag of resources to facilitate the transfer of learning activities to the home. 107 (all DDSB Schools) Early Years Summer School The School s Cool and School Readiness summer programs create an effective transition to kindergarten for 3-5 year olds with focus on literacy skills. Program is free for Durham students. 10 Child Care Summer Programs Qualified, licensed Child Care Operators provide child care for 0-12 year olds. 27 Child Care for Newcomer Children (CNC) Provision of care for newcomer children while their parents are receiving language and settlement services. 2 8

9 Integration Continuum For Early Years in Durham District School Board Schools FULL DAY KINDERGARTEN EARLY YEARS AND CHILD CARE PROGRAMS PARENT AND FAMILY LITERACY CENTRES BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS PRESCHOOL PROGRAMS EARLY YEARS SUMMER SCHOOL/NURSERY SCHOOL PROGRAMS WELCOME TO KINDERGARTEN AFTER SCHOOL RECREATION PROGRAMS Coexistence Coordination Collaboration Integration Coexistence of Early Years Programs in Schools Coordination of Early Years Programs in Schools Collaboration of Early Years Programs in Schools Integration of Early Years Programs in Schools programs planned and carried out independently of each other separate philosophy, goals and objectives meaningful communication is limited general information, program plans, behaviour guidance strategies are shared specific child information is shared coordination of some activities and schedules, e.g., use of the playground children, parents/ caregivers brought together for joint activities joint curriculum planning programs work together to reduce transitions programs develop common approaches to behaviour guidance and identification of children with special needs common curriculum and pedagogical approach common procedures and practices seamless participation core staff team shared identity pooling resources joint roles and responsibilities emerge Adapted from Working Together for Children s Success An Early Years Integration Strategy, Toronto District School Board Focus: To increase levels of integration and to provide seamless service experiences for children and families. 9

10 Early Years, Child Care & After School Programs Three Year Strategic Plan DDSB PRIORITIES DDSB Core Early Years Priorities Ready for School Closing the Entry/Achievement Gap Integrated Model of Service with Strong Parental Engagement Short Term Goals (1 year) Initiatives Indicators of Success OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES 1. Implementation of Year 5 FDK 2. To continue to implement and expand knowledge of the purposeful play based inquiry model in FDK classrooms 3. To increase Child Care, Early Years and After School Programs in schools 4. Complete an assessment of current Quality Assurance Practices, align and set standards 5. To develop a strategic plan and implement a pilot project Make A Difference to address poverty in Oshawa schools Long Term Goals (2-3 years) 1. Continue to develop and implement collaborative and integrated services in schools 2. To implement and complete Quality Assurance protocols for FDK Child Care & Early Years 3. Continue Implementation of Make A Difference analyzing results and expanding initiative Renovating physical space, outdoor learning environments, hiring of DECE s/staffing FDK Educator Teams and Principals provided with Professional Development Sessions on: - Play Based Inquiry Model - FDK Program - Role of Teacher/DECE - Assessment & Curriculum Child Care and Early Years Partners provided opportunities to participate in DDSB FDK and Early Years Professional Development Parent survey for Year 5 FDK and implementation plan for expansion of programs/services Research, review and analysis of tools/ministry requirements and training Develop integration of service tool and training for school leaders Establish Quality Assurance protocols, policies, timelines, targets and cycle of school assessments Implement Make A Difference An Oshawa Early Years Initiative comprised of a 9 Part Strategy to address the impact of poverty All Facilities Services projects completed by Fall 2014 All Year 1-5 Principals and FDK Educator teams have completed training Surveys distributed and expansion of programs based on parental and school/ community needs Quality Assurance tools analyzed and piloted in 2 schools Facilities Services reevaluation of year 1 and 2 FDK implementation Completion of training for Principals and Teachers on the integrated model of service Principals provided with strategic tools and indicators to increase integration model of service levels Quality Assessment Cycle implemented Successful grant process and pilot in midway implementation for Child Care Make A Difference pilot Expansion of Early Years parenting workshops Increased engagement of parent and access to services Improvement in student achievement (EDI and EQAO) Outcomes reported for each component of 9 part Make A Difference strategy COMMUNICATION Continue to develop and refine structures to ensure regular communication with stakeholders to share information and improve service delivery Communication Forms/Structures Consortium and Steering Committees Board Reports Early Years Strategic Plan Media Action Plan Professional Development Programs Signage on Schools/Brochures/Posters Board and School Websites/Twitter Account Newsletter Items Outreach/Community Events/Parent Programs 10

11 Durham District School Board offers Early Years, Child Care & After School Programs Families benefit when quality early years, licensed child care, after school and recreation programs are offered in schools. The DDSB focus is to provide: A seamless day of education and care for children Efficiency and practicality for family schedules Consistency and continuity of program expectations and delivery Free early years literacy and learning programs Welcoming and engaging early years and family programs Connections for parents to other community resources and agency programs FULL DAY KINDERGARTEN AND EXTENDED DAY PROGRAMS ages 4 to 5 years BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS ages 6 to 12 years AFTER SCHOOL RECREATION PROGRAMS ages 6 to 12 years FULL DAY CHILD CARE CENTRES ages 0 to 12 years PRESCHOOL PROGRAMS ages 2 to 4 years PARENT AND FAMILY LITERACY CENTRES ages 0 to 6 years EARLY YEARS AND CHILD CARE SUMMER PROGRAMS ages 2 to 12 years For detailed information regarding Early Years and Child Care programs offered in DDSB schools, please visit our website at: Early Years Poster November 2013

12 FULL DAY KINDERGARTEN NURSERY SCHOOL WELCOME TO KINDERGARTEN PARENT & FAMILY LITERACY HUBS CHILD CARE BEFORE & AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS EARLY YEARS SUMMER SCHOOL AFTER SCHOOL RECREATION PROGRAMS FULL DAY KINDERGARTEN NURSERY SCHOOL WELCOME TO KINDERGARTEN PARENT & FAMILY LITERACY HUBS CHILD CARE BEFORE & AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS EARLY YEARS SUMMER SCHOOL AFTER SCHOOL RECREATION PROGRAMS For detailed information regarding Early Years and Child Care programs offered in DDSB schools, please visit our website at:

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