To support the Division’s youngest learners to thrive within a welcoming, inclusive, safe and healthy learning environment.
To affirm the Board of Trustees’ (the Board) role in supporting the provision of early childhood services programs in collaboration with families, community early years providers, and government.
Early Years Programming is the continuum of programs offered in Edmonton Public Schools for children under the age of six and for children as young as two years and eight months in alignment with requirements for Early Childhood Services under the Education Act. Early Years Programming includes Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten and is delivered in alignment with provincial eligibility and funding requirements.
Research in the field of early childhood recognizes that the early years of a child’s life have a profound and lasting impact on children’s future learning and development. Young children thrive when they have secure, positive relationships with adults who are knowledgeable about how to support their development and learning.
The Board believes that all children are curious and eager to learn and recognizes the importance of families as children’s first teachers. Families play a significant role in children’s learning, health, development and well-being. Families bring a wealth of cultural knowledge, practices, and identity critical to children’s learning and development. The Board is committed to building strong relationships with families as critical partners in their children’s learning.
The Board acknowledges that early childhood educators also have an important role in nurturing relationships among children, staff, and families and is committed to providing positive experiences in the early years of a child’s life. Additionally, the Board recognizes the effectiveness of early years programming for children and the positive long term impact this investment has for the broader society.
Early childhood programming provides early intervention, especially in key areas such as language, self-regulation, empathy, social skills, gross and fine-motor skills and early literacy and numeracy. The Board is committed to providing an excellent start to learning through the provision of early years programming that is responsive to the needs of all children.
Early childhood educators support the growth and well-being of young learners through a range of developmentally appropriate and culturally responsive experiences using research and evidence-based approaches to learning. The Board is committed to providing early years programs and learning environments that are inclusive, nurturing, and strength-based and support the diversity of languages, cultures, social circumstances, and physical and intellectual abilities and well-being of the children served. Diverse cultural knowledge, expertise, and practices, including First Nations, Métis and Inuit ways of knowing, being and doing will be reflected in both the learning environment and activities that support learning. The Board recognizes that the provision of high quality early years programming is supported by staff who have the knowledge, skills, attitudes and expertise to work with the diverse needs of young children.
Strong early development and learning requires a relationship-based and culturally meaningful approach to nurture young children’s sense of belonging as members of a community. There are many community organizations who serve as important partners in the provision of early years programming for families in the Edmonton community. The Division acknowledges the diversity of perspective, expertise and services of these partners and values the opportunity to collaborate with them to provide additional support for children and families.
The Board acknowledges the importance of strategic collaboration with community partners and various orders of government, including municipal and provincial, to advance funding, access and guidelines to support the needs of children and families in the community.
The Superintendent will implement this policy by assigning roles and responsibilities and through developing administrative regulations, processes and best practices.
The Superintendent will provide updates to the Board around progress made in support of early years programming in Edmonton Public Schools.
The Division will provide an annual update on progress and priority strategies that support early years programming through the Annual Education Results Report.