Chamber’s keynote speaker addresses early child development

Creating family-friendly businesses and helping to create a strong, sustainable community

Leanne Evans

Leanne Evans

Creating family-friendly businesses and helping to create a strong, sustainable community by allowing children to grow in a safe, loving and caring environment was the focus of the Rimbey chamber’s keynote speaker.

Leanne Evans, program co-ordinator for Rimbey Early Child Development Coalition, met with the chamber at its meeting April 9 to talk about the importance of early child development.

“From birth to age five is most critical for development,” she said.

Evans said a provincial study on early child development shows Rimbey’s kindergarten-aged children above the provincial and national norm except in the area of language and thinking skills.

“It doesn’t mean our kids are geniuses or anything but they are doing quite well compared to the rest of Alberta.”

Evans said the results are favorable but the community needs to continue to do its part to help children be the best they can be.

Kindergarten children’s development, analyzed through questionnaires, in the areas of social competence, physical health and well-being, emotional maturity and community skills and general knowledge, were included in the study.

In the Rimbey area, which includes Bluffton and Crestomere, 114 questionnaires were analyzed.

The Early Child Development Mapping Initiative is a five-year research and community development project that aims to improve the development of young children throughout Alberta.

Chamber member Christine Plumb found the information to be “insightful. Where are you at with an action plan?” she questioned.

Several activities and projects have been completed, Evans replied. “We hit the ground running.”

Brochures containing suggestions for creating family-friendly businesses are now in the preliminary stages.

For more information about the provincial study on early child development, contact Leanne Evans at 403-843-4304 or email: rimbeynp@telus.net

The Early Child Development (ECD) Mapping Initiative, led by Alberta Education, is a five-year research and community development activity that includes implementation of the Early Development Instrument (EDI) in kindergarten classes across the province. The initiative will help Albertans to better understand how their young children are doing and to work together to support their healthy development. This initiative is funded by the Government of Alberta and involves the ministries of Education, health and Wellness and Human Services. Information on the ECD Mapping Initiative is available at www.ecdmapping.alberta.ca