Social-emotional kits to address need in Leduc region

Dozens of kits to be distributed by end of January

Jan. 2, 2014 – Leduc County and its regional partners are committed to ensuring children in the region have the tools needed for strong emotional development.

Social-emotional kits are being distributed by the Leduc Regional ECMap Coalition to various community facilities to address a need in the community, as outlined in the most recent Early Development Instrument (EDI) findings.

“These findings detail how roughly one in three children in Leduc County, or 32.6 per cent, are experiencing difficulty with emotional maturity,” says Tonya Sabourin, Parent Link coordinator and chair of the Leduc Regional Early Childhood Development Mapping project (ECMap) Coalition. “This signals a need in the community that we feel is vital to address early on in life.”

Each social-emotional kit contains resources for children and adults, including five children’s books focused on identifying and communicating emotions, as well as a resource package designed to help parents understand the importance of developing these skills.

“These kits are designed to support parents and children, through educating parents on the importance of sound emotional development while providing children with resources to build these important skills,” Sabourin says.

A total of 80 social-emotional kits are available in the region and will be distributed to facilities such as libraries, FCSS offices, kindergarten classrooms and day care facilities. For a full listing of facilities with social-emotional kits, please visit http://www.leduc-county.com/ecmap/findings/kits.

The Leduc Regional ECMap Coalition is comprised of service providers, early childhood professionals and community members from Leduc County, the City of Leduc, the Town of Devon, the Town of Calmar, the Village of Thorsby, the Village of Warburg and the Graminia area of Parkland County. This group plans and promotes community-based supports for young children and families, in accordance with ECMap.

ECMap is an Alberta Education initiative, which conducts research on early childhood development in communities across the province. This research is shared with various communities so families, service providers, educators, communities and policy makers can respond appropriately to the needs in their community.

The EDI is a standardized tool used to asses kindergarten-aged children whereby teachers complete a questionnaire for each child in the classroom and submits the data for analysis. The most recent EDI report, which can be viewed at http://www.leduc-county.com/ecmap/findings, was released in September 2012. Since then, the Leduc Regional ECMap Coalition studied the results and determined that social-emotional kits would be an effective method to address this need.

Leduc County’s Family and Community Support Services department, through Parent Link and Early Childhood Development, offers programs throughout the year to promote and foster healthy emotional development.

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