Background/ Why Is This Important?
The British Columbia Healthy Child Development Alliance (the Alliance) is a cross-sectoral coalition of health, social, education, research and community organizations that shares a common interest in supporting healthy development of all children in BC. The Alliance grew out of the 2004 Healthy Child BC Forum. With a membership of over 40 organizations, the Alliance provides leadership in, and is a resource to, the development and implementation of policies, strategies and preferred practices that support healthy child development. Child Health BC provides the secretariat for the Alliance.
What Actions Have Already Been Taken?
Where did this work start? The BC Healthy Child Development Alliance has worked on several initiatives including:
Social & Emotional Development for Infants & Toddlers — developed a provider training toolkit and supporting materials focusing on healthy social-emotional development of infants and toddlers. The materials have been incorporated into provincial resources and programs such as Growing Together Toolkit, Healthy Families BC, GP Practice Support Program Child & Youth Mental Health Module, and Family Resource Programs.
Public Awareness - developing a public awareness strategy to raise the profile of children by engaging society to recognize that children are our collective responsibility and impact all of us. A short video will be produced using the key message "a child's development is everyone's business"
Physical Activity and Healthy Eating Early Years Resource — the Ministry of Health has asked Child Health BC to lead the development of a comprehensive, coordinated approach to healthy eating and physical activity in early years settings. The BC Healthy Child Development Alliance will be supporting this work.
Professional Development and Training — completing an environmental scan of the various professional development and training opportunities available for early years providers. The information will be used to determine better ways for government and non-government organizations to collaborate on education and training. A webportal or online platform will be established to communicate to early years providers across the province.
Where Are We Now?
BC Healthy Child Development Alliance Network members meet bi-monthly to share resources, build connections across agencies and with ministries, and discuss opportunities to collaborate to promote healthy child development. The Alliance members determine priority areas and working groups are established to complete the project work.