Early Childhood Development

The purpose of CUP's early childhood development research is to develop an understanding of how children, families, neighbourhoods, schools and early childhood development programs and services interact with biological factors and policy environments to produce a range of developmental health outcomes for children. Key aspects of this research program are population level data collection, analysis, knowledge translation and working with community partners.

Active Projects

Evaluation Capacity Network (ECN)

In response to requests from our community partners, CUP is developing the Evaluation Capacity Network (ECN) to build collaborations among existing evaluation institutions and organizations, and serve as a central point of contact for partners to access evaluation expertise, resources, educational opportunities, and networks. Community organizations have limited resources to meet the increasing requirements of funders who are seeking rigorous evaluation outcomes to inform funding decisions, improve essential services, and demonstrate accountability. The ECN will enhance evaluation capacity building opportunities; serve as an evaluation broker by developing and implementing evaluations; develop an interdisciplinary network of evaluation stakeholders; and increase cross-sector dialogue to bridge funder and agency perspectives on evaluation. The ECN's ultimate goal is to build evaluation capacity that informs program and policy decision-making.

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Completed Projects

Multicultural Early Childhood Assessment and Learning (MECAL)

This project brings together stakeholders from the Multicultural Health Brokers Co-op, Alberta Education and Edmonton Public Schools with a goal of generating a conceptual framework of multicultural early childhood assessment and learning that can inform research, practice, and policy.

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Early Child Development Mapping (ECMap) Project

The Early Child Development Mapping Project (ECMap) was a five-year (2009-2014) initiative funded by Alberta Education that was designed to strengthen Alberta's ability to make positive early childhood development a reality for every child in the province. The project helped communities understand how young children are doing and work together to support their healthy development.

During the course of the project, ECMap analyzed Early Development Instrument (EDI) data on more than 70,200 kindergarten-aged children, creating the first baseline early development results for Alberta. ECMap community development coordinators mobilized community coalitions across the province to work with the data and support positive outcomes. One hundred coalitions are now active throughout Alberta, raising public awareness about the importance of the early years and making a positive, informed contribution to discussions of how policies, programs and other supports can be improved to promote the well-being of young children and families.

Several research reports were produced during this research project.

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First Nation Child Development (FNCD)

A collaboration between CUP, four First Nation communities of the Yellowhead Tribal Council, and the Yellowhead Tribal College looked at healthy child development from a community perspective.

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Early Childhood Screening in Immigrant and Refugee Populations

The Early Childhood Screening in Immigrant and Refugee Populations project was designed to examine the cultural validity of an early childhood screening tool, the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ®), for use with immigrant and refugee children.

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Evaluation of the Edmonton and Area Preschool Development Screening Initiative

The Mill Woods Preschool Developmental Screening Initiative was a collaboration of nine partners working across health, children's services, and education with the aim of maximizing resources to increase access to screening, intervention, and services for families.

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Social-Emotional Development Competencies in a Multicultural Context

A community-based project in partnership with the Multicultural Health Brokers Co-op and Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society. The project engaged first and second-generation youth and adults ina qualitative study to learn about the social-emotional competencies they have developed to positively navigate living within multiple cultural contexts.

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Edmonton Early Childhood Measurement and Evaluation Needs Assessment

The Early Childhood Measurement and Evaluation Resource Centre (ECMERC) led a needs assessment to determine the current assessment knowledge, purposes, and tool use and efficacy by surveying teachers, childcare workers, program directors, policymakers, researchers, and others in the early childhood development community.

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Early Childhood Development Community Mapping Project: A Pilot Project

If community members and service agencies have access to information on early childhood development in their neighbourhoods, do they find the information useful in planning for change and for improved early childhood outcomes?

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Early Childhood Measurement and Evaluation Resource Centre

ECMERC was a resource centre created to assist clinicians, community program staff and managers, evaluators, funders, researchers, and policymakers to understand the purposes, uses, and limitations of early childhood measurement tools.

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Head Start Child Care Evaluation

This evaluation examined the use of resource teams as a support strategy within different child care settings.

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Diagnostic Inventory for Screening Children Validation

The Diagnostic Inventory for Screening Children (DISC) was examined for sensitivity and specificity in its use as a screening tool for children in Head Start Programs. The use of the DISC in such settings was not supported by the results of the study.

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