The province will cover licensing fees to provide students and professionals across Manitoba with free access to the Science of Early Child Development (SECD), a suite of online learning resources developed by Red River College.
SECD includes regularly updated living textbooks and modules that offer current research and links to practice through a convenient online portal, accessible via computer, tablet and smartphone.
“We are making a first-of-its-kind investment in the early years fields in Manitoba to increase professional development opportunities, encourage independent study, strengthen the sectors that work with children and families, and improve the quality of services for Manitoba families,” says Families Minister Scott Fielding.
“Living textbooks are a cost-effective way to continually expand knowledge and provide educational opportunities to everyone involved in the sector.”
The province will provide $365,000 to RRC through the Canada-Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care Agreement with the federal government, opening up province-wide access for two living textbooks and three additional modules.
This will eliminate the license fee currently required to register, which will benefit hundreds of students and teaching staff, as well as early learning and child-care professionals, family child-care providers, teachers, public health staff, community organizations and any Manitobans interested in the impact of early experience on lifelong health and well-being. RRC will oversee the initiative and report to government on annual usage.
“The Government of Canada is very pleased that investments from the Canada–Manitoba early learning and child care bilateral agreement are being used to develop innovative projects such as the living textbook,” says Robert Falcon-Ouellette, member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre.
“Flexible access to quality training for educators and students is a major step forward in supporting a quality early learning environment for Manitoba’s children.”
The site is updated regularly and includes readings, videos of children’s programs, interviews with experts, links to reports and websites, reflection questions and interactive activities.
“Red River College is proud to be a leader in social innovation in Manitoba,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.
“SECD is a globally recognized, research and resource tool that is elevating the success of our early childhood educators within the classroom. We are pleased that this Manitoba-made, award-winning resource, created right here at Red River College by our knowledgeable staff and faculty, will now continue to provide all front-line child-care workers in the province with the tools, skills and training necessary to shape young minds and build a strong foundation for bright futures.”
The resources can be used by early learning and child-care professionals, family child-care providers, teachers, public health staff, community organizations and any Manitobans interested in the impact of early experience on lifelong health and well-being.
Modules include the Child Development Primer in English and French, and Prenatal Development, geared to the public health sector.