F. Community

Establishing a Community Early Learning and Child Care Facilitators Program

In October 2011, the Unit for Early Years Research and Development launched the Community Early Learning and Child Care Facilitators Pilot Project. This pilot project draws on the foundation created by earlier phases of the IQ Project. As in these earlier stages, participating early childhood educators attend monthly learning circles, where they critically reflect on their practice through pedagogical documentations, discuss recent theoretical perspectives in the the field, and learn about innovative ways to transform the early years environment.

A new feature in the pilot project is the creation of the Community Early Learning and Child Care Facilitator position. Facilitators play a role similar to that of pedagogistas in the centres of Reggio Emilia: immersing themselves in the centres, supporting the educators’ efforts to engage with children and families in innovative ways, and extending the practice of the educators and the children by introducing new ideas, materials, and media, often with the assistance of an artist, or atelierista. The ongoing visits of the Community Facilitator provide for a richer, deeper exploration of the perspectives introduced in the IQ project, and also create stronger links between participating educators at the community level.

The pilot project is currently based in two communities: Victoria (Vancouver Island) and Coquitlam (Lower Mainland). In future, we hope to extend the model to more BC communities.


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