Interaction Weekly
Jan. 29, 2014

Experts: Ontario plan puts child care quality at risk
Toronto Star
Child care experts and advocates say a provincial proposal to allow babies and toddlers in licensed day cares to be cared for in larger groups with fewer adults is the wrong way to promote quality. The proposed regulatory changes, released last month, are in response to the final rollout of full-day kindergarten next fall and Ottawa's enhanced parental leave benefits that took effect in 2000, according to an Education Ministry summary.More

B.C. children's minister drops program criticized by watchdog
Times Colonist
The Ministry of Children and Family Development has scrapped a program that was supposed to help transfer authority over child welfare services to individual First Nations. The move follows a report last year by Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, B.C.'s representative for children and youth, that showed how little control the ministry had over the Indigenous Approaches program. In some cases, money was released to agencies without a written contract or any plan in place for how it would be spent or who would benefit. Projects included researching governance models, identifying traditional welfare practices and consulting with communities. More

Day care centres coping with loss of clients to full-time kindergarten
CTV News
Day care and early childcare centres are struggling to stay in business due to the government's full-day kindergarten program. The program allows children ages four and five to attend school full time instead of dividing their time between school and a day care centre. The government plans to fully implement the program by September 2014. It's currently in its fourth year with approximately 184,000 children enrolled at about 2,600 schools, according to Lauren Ramey, press secretary to Ontario's Minister of Education. More

The importance of nutrition and fitness in child care centres
Oakville Beaver
Nutrition and fitness are an extremely important aspect of child care. Given that your child likely spends upwards of eight hours at daycare each day, food eaten at your provider can account for up to ½ to ⅔ of a child's daily caloric intake. It's extremely important that child care centres provide high quality, nutritious foods. More

New rules for unregulated child care providers
Peterborough This Week
Local child care providers operating under the radar could soon be swayed to make their services official. Proposed legislation aiming to increase safety and quality standards in day care centres would offer a financial incentive to private providers who are licensed by the province, by allowing them to take on one extra child.More

Sibling relationships tied to children's vocabulary skills
The Globe and Mail
In large families, young kids can't always get a lot of individual attention from parents — but healthy interactions with an older sibling may help compensate for that, a new study suggests. How older children interact with their siblings is tied to the younger children's development, Canadian researchers found. Previous research had found that children from large families tend to score lower on vocabulary, IQ and other academic tests, compared to those from smaller families.More

How do you raise kids to have good manners?
Toronto Star
My son never hesitates to snatch toys or books away from his twin sister. He's only 19 months old and doesn't understand why this is wrong. To his credit, he is also quite giving. He is a sweet boy who never means to annoy his sister. More

Helping children get a healthier start in life
Office of the Premier
Premier Kathleen Wynne, along with Deb Matthews, Ontario's Minister of Health and Long-Term Care visited the Wellesley Community Centre in Toronto today to kick off the Healthy Kids Community Challenge. The challenge is a new initiative to help children be more active and healthy so they can reach their full potential. The province will provide 30 communities with funding, training, advice, social marketing tools and other resources over four years to develop and implement community-based programs and activities that promote healthy habits. More

Sibling relationships tied to children's vocabulary skills
The Globe and Mail
In large families, young kids can't always get a lot of individual attention from parents — but healthy interactions with an older sibling may help compensate for that, a new study suggests. How older children interact with their siblings is tied to the younger children's development, Canadian researchers found. Previous research had found that children from large families tend to score lower on vocabulary, IQ and other academic tests, compared to those from smaller families.More

A mother's quest to navigate the video game minefield
The Globe and Mail
The video game Minecraft crept into my son's life the way I suspect these things usually do: His older brother got him started. It quickly became the first thing my five-year-old wanted to do when his big brother and sister, nine and 11, stepped through the front door (they're my step-children, my son's half-siblings). They would have played for hours, if it were allowed. (It wasn't.) More

Is your praise damaging your children?
The Mississauga News viaThe Washington Post News Service
Praising your kids — it seems like an obvious, not-fraught thing parents should do. And yet, according to a new study, delivering praise to children in ways that inspire rather than sabotage is harder than it sounds. What forms of cheerleading stick? How do you convey sincerity? How do you avoid burdening your kid with stratospheric expectations? Developmental scientists have been asking these questions for a while now. More

U of A study looks at how families with autistic children deal with aggressive behaviour
Edmonton Journal
When Madeline Rainey's son lashed out at school, the default punishment was a three-day suspension. Her son, who was eventually diagnosed with autism, was often physically disruptive and the behaviour had ripple effects. Families with autistic children who display aggressive behaviour often feel isolated and exhausted — in part, because their child's aggression can make it harder to find respite care, according to a small pilot study co-authored by University of Alberta professor Sandra Hodgetts.More

Should schools teach kids to meditate?
The Atlantic
Schools have begun experimenting with the practice of meditation and are discovering that its techniques can help its students. When a school in New Haven, CT, required yoga and meditation classes three times a week for its incoming freshman, studies found that after each class, students had significantly reduced levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, in their bodies.More