March 9, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial government is making new resources available to preschool children, their parents and child-care providers. Social Development Minister Kelly Lamrock made the announcement today.
"The Early Learning Curriculum and its French-language equivalent are designed to support caregivers and parents in creating stimulating and nurturing learning environments; and to help young children make the transition into the school system," said Lamrock. "The curricula emphasize how children can benefit the most when their parents, families, child-care providers and community partners work together to support, maximize and encourage a child's learning."
New public materials have been developed to inform parents, the public and caregivers about the use of the curricula materials at home, in community-based facilities and within child-care settings. Copies of the curricula and access to parental resources are available online (English curriculum / French curriculum).
The distinct curricula have been developed to respect the linguistic and cultural diversity of the province. An English curriculum was developed by early childhood experts at the University of New Brunswick, while the French curriculum was developed by early childhood experts at the Université de Moncton.
The English and French curricula focus on maximizing children's learning through their earliest experiences, their environments and their relationships, and they are based on worldwide best practices. They were developed and implemented as part of a $3-million investment by the Early Learning and Child Care Trust Fund.
New Brunswick is the only jurisdiction in Canada that is making the teaching of a curriculum mandatory in day cares. Regulated child-care staff were trained in the curriculum between April 2008 and June 2009. Ongoing professional development is being provided.
According to Lamrock, early learning opportunities are as important as learning from kindergarten to Grade 12. Be Ready for Success: A 10-year Early Childhood Strategy for New Brunswick recognizes this, and the action plan includes more affordable spaces, in early learning facilities with a strong curriculum and educators who are trained and treated as professionals.
MEDIA CONTACT: Alison Aiton, communications, Department of Social Development, 506-444-2416.