Interaction Weekly
Feb. 19, 2014

ChildCare2020: from vision to action
CCCF
Don't miss this rare opportunity to help create a vision for early childhood education and care in Canada for the next decade and beyond. Join a growing community of early childhood educators, academics and researchers, policymakers, advocates, and parents — from urban, suburban rural and Indigenous communities across Canada — all working together for a better system of early childhood education and care.More

What we need is a new deal for families
The Province
Surprising many, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty urged caution about his government's family income-splitting plans, observing what the evidence makes clear: it doesn't provide tax breaks for the majority of families. Income splitting offers no help to couples in which both parents earn similar amounts. Nor does it help lone parents.More

Talking to babies more helps their brains, study finds
CTV News
Using videos that claim to teach toddlers, or flash cards for tots, may not be the best idea. Simply talking to babies is key to building crucial language and vocabulary skills - but sooner is better, and long sentences are good. So says research that aims to explain, and help solve, the troubling "word gap": Children from more affluent, professional families hear millions more words before they start school than poor kids, leaving the lower-income students at an academic disadvantage that's difficult to overcome.More

$25,000 grant for new playground
Wetaskiwin Times
It's more than a facelift – it's a total overhaul. A new playground will put the jump back into the steps of children attending the Early Learning and Childhood Centre in Wetaskiwin. In late January, the centre received its first $25,000 grant from Alberta Recycling for a new pour-in-place rubber surface. The playground has laid empty since an old wooden play structure was demolished prior to the centre’s reopening in September 2009.More

Prosperity depends on public commitment to child health, conference hears
The Globe and Mail
Canada's future prosperity could be at stake if policies related to young children fail to catch up to the scientific evidence. That was a key takeaway from a special symposium held in Toronto recently that brought together world experts in the biology of child and brain development with those who specialize in the health and success of entire societies.More

Talking to babies more helps their brains, study finds
CTV News
Using videos that claim to teach toddlers, or flash cards for tots, may not be the best idea. Simply talking to babies is key to building crucial language and vocabulary skills - but sooner is better, and long sentences are good. So says research that aims to explain, and help solve, the troubling "word gap": Children from more affluent, professional families hear millions more words before they start school than poor kids, leaving the lower-income students at an academic disadvantage that's difficult to overcome. More

In B.C., a hellish hunt for child care
The Tyee
"Sorry, we don't have any available spaces for your son." It was a message Kristina Kernohan and Alexis Morgan heard over and over. They knew it wouldn't be easy to find child care for their son, Bevyn, but they hadn't imagined what a nightmare it would turn out to be. When Kernohan started searching in November 2012, Bevyn was five months old and she had 10 months left before she had to return to her job as an on-call teacher. More

World's coolest playgrounds give kids a taste of the surreal
Wired
Think back to when you were younger. The best playground was probably your imagination. If you were lucky enough to have a playhouse or some other built structure to supplement that boundless creativity, that was a luxury. But even if you didn't, a row of berry-covered bushes and some dirt was enough to let you pretend you were baking pies in a fully-stocked kitchen. Kids like to make believe, but public playgrounds rarely cater to that desire. Instead, they come with unspoken instructions: Climb this, slide here, kick around some sand.More

'Multi-track' schools pitched to ease Calgary space crunch
Metro
Keeping Calgary schools filled with students year-round could do wonders to combat a space crunch likely to dog the city's education system for many years to come, suggests a trustee. But Judy Hehr, Calgary Board of Education representative for Wards 8 and 9, said moving to a "multi-track" model in communities due up for new facilities will only work if the parents get behind — even champion it. The CBE became the first school board in Canada to attempt the multi-track, year-round approach when it threw open the doors of Riverbend Elementary in 1996. More

Kids, poverty and mental health: How Hamilton schools reach kids
CBC News
Meagan Coote thought she was coming down with something when she began feeling sick at school one day. She had just started grade nine and was feeling overwhelmed and a little nauseous but brushed it off as back-to-school jitters. After all, starting high school was a big step for her, since she'd been used to small classes to accommodate her learning disability. Now her classes were twice the size.More

Orthodox Mennonites closer to return of kids after some criminal charges stayed
Leader-Post
An orthodox Mennonite community in Manitoba that had almost all of its children seized eight months ago is close to getting them back now that child abuse charges against some of the sect's members have been stayed. Most of the criminal charges were dropped last week, although the Crown is still pursuing charges against four individuals in the community.More

Opposition calls for release of day care inspection reports in N.B.
CTV News
New Brunswick's Liberal leader wants the provincial government to release inspection reports for day cares. Brian Gallant says the public should know if inspections are being done and that any problems are being corrected. "It's to protect our children, it's to ensure that parents have the opportunity to pick which daycare they'll use, and if they've chosen one, they'll be able to see if it is respecting the standards that it is supposed to respect," Gallant said. More

New child care plan would ease access to subsidized day care
The Ottawa Citizen
A new child care plan that's supposed to ensure the most vulnerable children have access to subsidized day care will come before a city council committee. The proposed Child Care Service Plan would overhaul how the city subsidizes day care for young children and change the way parents qualify for those subsidies. The biggest change is the proposal to attach daycare subsidies to children as opposed to attaching them to day care centres.More