Best Start and ELECT

The Best Start Program

The framework created for early years settings was designed to complement the Day’ Nursary Act. This framework Early Learning for Every Child Today: Ontario Early Childhood Settings has been put in place and “describes how young children learn and develop, and provides a guide for curriculum in Ontario’s early childhood settings, including child care centres, regulated home child care, nursery schools, kindergarten, Ontario Early Years Centres, family resource programs, parenting centres, readiness centres, family literacy, child development programs in Community Action Program for Children, Healthy Babies Healthy Children and early intervention services”

Dr. Charles Pascal recommendations and vision for the Early Learning Program is strongly based on the Best Start strategy that began in 2007 (pg. 17). The Best Start program works with Health Nexus, is funded by Ontario. The framework of “Early Learning for Every Child Today, has been created by the Best Start Expert Panel on Early Learning. The panel consists of leading professionals from the early childhood education and the formal education sectors in Ontario. (Best Start Website)

Based on my understanding, this panel and strategy embraces the importance of parents, and families as a child’s primary and most significant influence throughout the early years. It highlights the importance of each and every child’s outside setting and environment, that they be responsive and open to the whole child and each family. As the old saying goes “It takes a community to raise a child”, and with that in terms of Full Day Kindergarten we need to be welcoming our families into our schools and into our classrooms to create a sense of school family.

For more information on Best Start, its resources, services, events and very informative links for parents, educators and others interested in the early years please visit:
Best Start Website

ELECT

Early Learning for Every Child Today is a guide to support curriculum and pedagogy in Ontario’s early childhood settings, including child care centres, kindergarten classrooms, home child care, nursery schools, Ontario Early Years Centres and other family support programs, and early intervention services. It is a living document that will continue to evolve as early childhood practitioners working in early childhood settings use it.

The Early Learning for Every Child Today complements, rather than replaces, specific curricular
and pedagogical approaches, early identification protocols and regulated requirements now in
place in Ontario early childhood settings. It also provides direction for programs that do not have
an explicit curriculum or consistent pedagogical approach. It features a continuum of
developmental skills and a shared language that will support early childhood practitioners and
caregivers as they work together across early childhood settings.
(ELECT website pg. 5)

ELECT identifies six principles:

1. Early development lays the foundation for lifelong learning, behaviour, and health.
2. Partnerships with families and communities strengthen the ability of early childhood settings to meet the needs of young children.
3. Respect for diversity, equity, and inclusion are prerequisites for optimal development and learning.
4. A planned curriculum supports early learning.
5. Play is a means to early learning that capitalizes on children’s natural curiosity and exuberance.
6. Knowledgeable and responsive educators are essential in early childhood settings.