Feelings First Update: see what is new with the Social and Emotional Development initiative

Feelings First: a public health initiative to promote social and emotional development in early childhood.

In the early years (ages 0 to 5 years), a child’s social and emotional health is every bit as important as their physical health. It impacts how they express emotions, deal with stress, develop friendships, and helps to determine their connections to the world around them through stories, conversations and play.

Child health BC is leading an exciting initiative that focuses on building the capacity of adults to nurture and promote the social and emotional development of young children in their care.

Phase 1: Raising public awareness with The Feelings First message campaign

The first phase was a public message campaign which ran between May and August 2021. The goal of the campaign was to raise awareness of the importance of fostering social and emotional development (SED) in the early years. Messages specially developed for parents and caregivers were distributed through several social media channels, and included concrete, actionable steps that they could do to support child development in this area. The messages garnered over 1.5 million views, in great part thanks to our community partners (over 70 of them) that helped to broadcast the messages.

The campaign was developed by Child Health BC and the BC Healthy Child Development Alliance (the Alliance), a cross-sectoral coalition of more than 50 organizations that share a common interest in supporting healthy child development in the province.

Phase 2: Promoting the capacity of parents, caregivers, and early childhood educators to foster SED in young children

Development of phase 2 of the initiative is now underway, led by Child Health BC. One of the deliverables is to conduct an environmental scan of resources and training in the area of SED in the early years.  The environment scan, along with a systematic needs assessment with provincial stakeholders, will help inform the next steps of building SED capacity among parents/caregivers, early childhood educators and family support workers.

View the environmental scan here.