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The best investment you'll ever make


Preliminary findings from the Feasibility Study commissioned by the College of the Rockies, The Early Childhood Development coalition, and the Giving Tree Child Care Society on Child Care in Golden, …

Preliminary findings from the Feasibility Study commissioned by the College of the Rockies, The Early Childhood Development coalition, and the Giving Tree Child Care Society on Child Care in Golden, BC. Focus group was attended by over 30 interested and concerned community members from educators, school board administration, council and school board candidates, and parents, as well as members of the Early Learning and Care community.

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  • Watch Video first.If I told you that I had an investment opportunity that would give you a return on investment 2:1 at bare minimum, and more likely 6:1 to 14:1 over the long term, what would you say? This is what investing in early learning and care is. Some of this return might not be available to us, the grownups in the room who we are asking to make this investment, but don’t let that stop you…what kind of world of opportunity do you want to leave your children and grandchildren with…that is why you’d be making this investment…of course, you’d have questions first…I hope…during the next 2 hours we will provide information and answer questions to help you decide if this is a worth investment to make at this point in time for the community of Golden.
  • Thank you all for taking time to come together today. Early learning and care is an important piece of the beautiful quilt that makes up our community. It is a piece that many take for granted or don’t pay attention to. Many of you are what I am calling “outside the bubble” in that you don’t have children between the ages of 0 – 6, so you probably thought you had no real reason to worry about this issue. In the introduction: Go over the guidelines of interactionIntroduction to the people and the projectsIcebreaker activityBriefly explain the projectI am hoping that by the end of today’s session, you will have learned a few things you didn’t know before about Early Learning and Care. And for all of us in this room, even those who live and breath this topic on a daily basis, I hope that you will develop a new appreciation of how Early Learning and Care plays a bigger role in the economic development, social fabric and overall health of Golden. I also hope that you will be motivated to take an active role in helping to support the community “inside the bubble” and put Golden on the map in terms of a community that families want to move to, not away from, because our system of Early Learning and Care is one of the best in the province.After the information giving part of this Forum, we will be entering into small groups for discussion, brainstorming and action. This PowerPoint and the Questions that you ask will provide you enough background to make some really creative recommendations. So take notes, listen carefully and ask questions to clarify things you don’t get.
  • All comments and answers are validWrite questions down and wait until we come to certain logical pausing points to ask them. Don’t interrupt.You can't live your life without adding meaning or drawing conclusions. It would be an inefficient, tedious way to live. But you can improve your communications through reflection, and by using the ladder of inference in three ways: Becoming more aware of your own thinking and reasoning (reflection); Making your thinking and reasoning more visible to others (advocacy); Inquiring into others' thinking and reasoning (inquiry). Before you jump in with your answer or opinion make sure you truly understand what was just said before you respond. Ask Questions.Understand the difference between fact and opinionDon’t make assumptionsRealize that your worldview and perspective is just that…YOURS. Every single person in this room has a different background that is bringing them to this very moment and perspective. Different socio-economic sectors have different realities. When you have a thought or comment on this issue, just remember that your perspective is probably unique to you or at the very least common only to those who have similar backgrounds.
  • Funders: Giving Tree Child Care Society received a grant in aid from CSRD to help fund this study. Small grant from CBT.The “supervising” organizations on this project are: Giving Tree Child Care Society (formed in 2008): Brenda Managh, Monica De, Caroline Carl-Osborne, Rhonda Smith: MISSION STATEMENT--to provide Golden with a high quality, universally inclusive, affordable, and developmentally appropriate (QUAD principles) childcare facility. GOALS:  1. To build a licensed Community Child Care Facility accessible to all members of the community and which demonstrates our value of the early years by:-providing children with the best possible start to an education grounded in research that recognizes the early years as the most influential period of time for later academic and social success-striving to break down barriers in the community that families may experience such as cost, transportation, and social isolation-supporting our community families in their efforts to access the workforce.-keeping our young families in Golden as they represent our future socially and economically2.To conduct fund-raising activities to further the objectives in #1.3. To undertake the foregoing activities on a not-for-profit basis with any surpluses to be reinvested in improving the provision of the services set out in #1.Early Childhood Development Coalition: ECDC: Joanne McCullough, Coordinator.College of the Rockies:Laurie Dalzell, helped write a B-plan in 2009 for GTCCS, etc.
  • Refer to sign in sheet and question on Flip Chart that I have asked people to write down.
  • Describe this object as an illustration on how we see, perceive and communicate.
  • These Objectives are from the Terms of reference that the “supervising group” put together.We have to ask first what is/are the needs surrounding child care in Golden, if any, at this point in time? Respecting and learning from the history of child care here in Golden; looking at communities such as Revelstoke; Hayward, Iowa; Rideau Lakes, ON; and the surrounding communities of the Columbia Basin/Kootenays; and considering what is best for Golden, which is a unique community in and of itself.
  • More questions: How many people have this need today, project next year to three years?What exactly are people asking for (back to what are the needs)
  • If a need is determined, how can we address this need. How can we create something creative and sustainable. If a new child care option were to be introduced in our community, especially one that other business might be asked to support, it has to be financially viable, even as a not-for profit entity.
  • Community Coops; Corporate providers; non-profit; municipally run; Early learning centres in our schools or college; private enterprise; Corporate sponsorship; parent-run…
  • The college of the Rockies is just one option to link training and education with child care, however there are many options for linking training and education with this project. Most notably, the current family home providers have asked for more training and development opportunities; there are ongoing programs designed and delivered to young parents/new parents to help them learn and develop as parents; the Little Chimps Preschool already operates out of Alexander Parks Elementary School; our population of parents under the age of 18 is XXX, how can a new child care option be structured to support this demographic as well, as young parents to complete their secondary school education? The Alpine Independent school? Multi-lingual early learning options?
  • I’ll see it when I believe it.
  • Ben Zander: Glorious Opportunity, they don’t have shoes yet!
  • An example of a vision statement from one of the Best Practice communities in our study. We’ll refer back to it shortly.
  • I took this list from a Best Practice Community. This is what one of their Early Learning Champions has to say about why their community is so successful:Working in an open and transparent contextRespectful communicationPooling funds to maximize resourcesCollaborative problem solving (what we are doing today)Associate membership and multiple methods of information sharing“The Board of Education has embraced its expanded role in early learning and the contribution it can make to ensuring that children thrive. The Board respects knowledge, expertise and leadership of the cross-sectoral ECDC…Capitalizing on our existing synergy, our community has developed the capacity to sustain and enhance our early learning programs, making out town one of the best places in BC to raise children.”Think about this…think about this in the context of people moving in and out of our community of Golden…if there is a place, right next door that is almost the same, but with one critical difference, that it supports families with children, in an amazing way…where do you think families that have a choice are going to go? What kind of population diversity does Golden want? What areas does this community need to focus on in order to achieve this diversity?
  • Any others?Differentiate from the Early Learning, the Parent and Tot activities, and the drop off day care. Preschool providers and a few Family Home Day Care providers have their Early Childhood Education certificate. Others have degrees in related fields. Not all the Family Home providers or LNR have related schooling to early childhood development. All must be what is considered “responsible adults,” all must pass a criminal record check and hold current infant/child CPR. Most participate in professional development training when it comes to Golden and/or when out of town opportunities are feasible (funding available and they get someone to sub for them at their daycare.According to the most recent BC Stats that I received last week, Golden and Area A has 495 children under the age of 5 in Golden. There are many ways to gauge a community’s support of Early Learning and Care and thus, ways for parents to compare communities when a family needs to make a decision as to where they want to live and raise their children. One such measure is called the Early Development Instrument (or EDI). Has anyone in this room heard of it? The EDI was developed in 1999 as a tool for measuring vulnerability in children entering kindergarten. The higher the score, the more vulnerable that percentage of the population is. Rocky Mountain School District 6 has an overall vulnerability of 27% in one or more areas tested (and we’ll get to those areas in a minute). In SD6, there are three zones, Windermere, Kimberly and Golden. And of those three, Golden has the highest vulnerability at 41%.
  • A population-level research tool used to measure five core areas of early child development that are good predictors of adult health, education, and social outcomes. Administered to kindergartners usually in February of their kindergarten year. Used in communities to identify strengths and needs in communities and to inform the work done by Early learning professionals at the early learning level. It is also used at the Provincial level to plan early childhood investment, policy and program development. (1)EDI data supports the brain based researchers that Early Learning scholars at UBC like Paul Kershaw and Clyde Hertzman that the years between 0 – 6 are the most critical for learning and development of our children who happen to be our future. Kershaw and Hertzman head an organization called the Human Early Learning partnership (HELP) which has been recommending policy for early childhood development at the provincial level for the past decade. The most recent policy framework was written for the Business Council of British Columbia’s Opportunity 2020 Project in August 2009. Has any one here heard of Opportunity 2020? (ask someone to explain it to the rest of the group).(1): UBC Website, Early Learning, Early Development instrument,, accessed Nov. 10, 2011.
  • In SD6, Golden had the highest vulnerability at 41% for one or more aspects of their development. The provincial-wide score was 30.9%.Golden’s score of 41% for the 2010/2011 means that 203 children in our community don’t have all the skills necessary to succeed, unassisted, in kindergarten, and this same population is at continued risk as they move through school and life for future challenges in school and in society. Maintaining the support that the school district shows (with providing space for Strong Start, Little Chimps and the GCRS Afterschool program and building upon that support as we move forward could help mitigate some of this vulnerability and perhaps balance out some of the resouces currently spent on assisting the vulnerable population. (See Revelstoke’s model)Province-wide, currently, almost 31% of our children are vulnerable. In a world that is relying more and more every day being competitive and a world player economically, based on the strength of their human capital, meaning having a competitive advantage because its people are able to be creative, solve problems using innovative thinking, and hold their own in the technological playing field, these children are going to be left behind, unless an investment is made today to help them succeed.I am giving you this information now to try to set the context of how important this issue is on some levels that perhaps you haven’t fully considered yet. Since Golden has been in the process over the past 3 – 5 years of developing the vision and strategic direction for the community and since now we at a critical juncture in trying to attract people and businesses to our community to reinforce an economic foundation that is quite frankly quite shaky if not starting to crumble, it makes sense to look down the road, short medium, and especially long term when making strategic decisions and consider the importance of investing in children and youth in this picture.
  • According to Kershaw’s report15x15: A comprehensive Policy Framework for Early Human Capital Investment, since 30% of BC’s children are entering kindergarten vulnerable, the risk of them remaining vulnerable for the rest of their lives is also very high. Unless local communities and the provincial government work together to support early learning and care, we are collectively allowing an unnecessary brain drain that will dramatically deplete our stock in human capital. This loss of human capital over the next 60 years has been shown by economic analysis to cost the BC government (and be extension, you and me) over 401 billion dollars, (that’s equal to 10 X the provincial debt load) In the US, over 70 economic studies of childcare have been completed at the state and regional level in the past decade. These studies have shown child care to be an economic sector in its own right as well as one with many associated linkages. One study showed that the linkages from the child care sector are as strong if not stronger than those of retail, tourism and other social infrastructure sectors like hospitals, job training and the education sector. There have also been studies showing that for every $1 invested in quality early learning and care particularly to those at risk, the return has been measured as high as $14 over 3 decades, in particularly in the areas of crime reduction. Shorter term returns show up in positive changes in employment, especially for mothers. And in overall employee health and family unity.
  • Conventional thinking of “economic development” has to go. At the top of any community economic development list/discussion should have early childhood development at the top. The return on investment goes far and above what provincial governments would ever get on any traditional investment. A paper written by Rob Grunwald and Arthur Rolnick, Senior VP and director of research at the Reserve bank of Minneapolis build an economic case for funding Early Childhood education. They state that well targeted investments into Early Child Hood Development yield high public and private returns. (1)Returns on investment have been shown through economic analysis to be as large as $17 to $1 from the Perry Preschool Project (for at risk African-American children in Ipsilanti, Michigan. Most of the cost savings was in lower adult male crime.So Bankers are writing about cost benefit of investing in ECD, and so are economists. Nobel prize James Heckman also argues for investing in ECD for at risk children. Originally, he says, this type of investment was based on fairness and social justice, but now, he points out that the argument can be augmented by one of Economic efficiency. This may even be a more powerful argument for some, because the return on this type of investment is large and it can be measured.(2)(1), accessed Nov. 11, 2011.(2)Susan Prentice, Old dollars, new Sense: Recent Evidence and Arguments about Child Care Spending, Our Schools/Our Selves, Spring 2009
  • 3 registered care options in GoldenA host of other options that people use
  • The CCRR has guidelines that this type of provider has to follow to be on their Registered List
  • Licensed family care provides in home care for children 0 – 12. The regulations that govern this type of child care are rigorous. Getting licensed in the first place can mean renovating your home to meet size and code standards, making your yard fenced and safe for children, and taking certain courses that help you be able to safely and effectively work with children.Let’s look at the specific rules for how many children a licensed family care home can serve.
  • The rule seems complicated at first, but believe me, these providers know how to manage it.Basically, a licensed home can only take 1 infant. This isn’t usually an issue as far as capacity. With full year maternity leave, many parents don’t need or even want regular child care for their children under 12 months. So, if a provider doesn’t have an infant, she is able to take 2 toddlers—2 children between the age of 12 and 23 months. Then, if a licensed family home has 2 under 2’s, they can also take 2 more children between the ages of 25 months and 47months. So that gives that day care a total of 4 children under 47 months. Then, they can take up to 3 more children 4 years and older right up to 12 years old (if they are taking afterschool children as well). Family home day cares can accepts up to 7 children that fall into these very specific guidelines.
  • This is complicated to understand, but I am just using it for illustrative purposes…meaning that the number of full time spaces versus the number of children actually needing care is disproportionate. There aren’t enough spaces. Ironically, the family child care centres are not currently full. This is primarily due to the licensing regulations for age ratios and owing a bit to full time Kindergarten (the 5 year old age group). There is a waiting list for children ages 12 – 47 months and openings in the over 4 year old category.
  • Today, with full day kindergarten in its second year, family home providers are noticing that they are not as able to fill their spots for children ages 4 – 6. Since they don’t have a demand for the babies (0 – 11 mo), they choose to fill that space with 2-one year olds and max their spaces up to the 47 month old. The age group between 12 months and 35 months is where there is the most demand is an the biggest waitlists. However, if you were to ask a family home provider if they were full, most likely, they would say “No.”
  • I will give some of the quick, high level survey results, then we are going to have a discussion in large and small groups about how to take this data and discuss solutions…Three formal surveys were distributed: Parents, Businesses, and to the 7 child care providers. There was also a community consultation session held in early october and a preliminary email with questions.
  • 118 took the survey2006 census for Golden and Area A says 1110 families with children at home. 8.6% families with children were represented.173 children are represented altogether in our survey. That is 15% of the total 0 – 14 population (of 1143 children) in LHA18.The care of 143 children in Golden is represented by this survey107 preschool aged children are represented with is 22% of the total population(362) of children this age in Golden LHA 18 (0 – 4).BC Stats special drill down for this projectInterior Health Authority, PEOPLE 35 Populations Projections, Golden Local Health Area 18, September 2010,
  • Parents use an average of 2 solutions per week. About ¼ of the parents who answered this question use 3 – 5 solutions per week to meet their child care needs.
  • Good news. 61% of the parents feel that their needs are being met “well” or “completely”39% feel that their needs are being met Adaquately or less. The average satisfaction score on a scale of 1 – 5 was 3.79.
  • 19.6% of the respondents identified themselves as “stay at home (non-paid).” Just under a quarter of the respondents worked from home, 18.6% for their own company. 39.2% of those surveyed work full time and 28.9% work part-time. Of those not currently employed full time, about half said they’d work more if they could find more child care. That’s approximately 42 people working more and then putting more money back into the local economy. 34% said their employers have modified their work schedule to adapt to their child care schedule.
  • Of the people surveyed who answered this question, 63% experienced an increase or no change in need for child care over the past year. Another 27.3% experienced a decrease in hours needed and for 9.1% they stopped using child care completely. This could be due to the children being in school full time or due to financial family issues.
  • How many spaces are needed for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015? We asked people who didn’t even have children yet to consider the implications of child care choices on their immediate future in Golden.
  • over 90% of the people surveyed said they would consider using a group child care centre if one existed in Golden.
  • 24 employers responded to this survey. It was sent out through the Chamber of commerce and with an ad in the paper as well as on facebook. What does this low response mean? That child care isn’t impacting their business, or they just aren’t aware of the “behind the scenes” impact that it has?
  • If any scenarios or recommendations come out during Q&A, then we’ll use them in our small group discussions
  • Break into small groups and use the paper to discuss one of the four questions and write notes about the answers. Write the names of the people who were part of the discussion.


  • 1. The best investment you’ll ever make Early Learning and Care in Golden, BC November 2011
  • 2. What excitement does thisafternoon hold?• Introduction• Introduce the concept that Early Learning and Care is an economic determinant in a community.• Highlight the impact of Early Learning to children’s life long development and success.• Tell you what the parents in Golden have said.• Q&A• Brainstorming, Scenario building and Discussion• Formal session concludes. Informal networking and Q&A to follow.
  • 3. Today’s guidelines• Respect for the roles that everyone plays in this room and in our community (if they are not represented in this room today).• Keep comments forward thinking• Parking lot• Mindful of the time• Share the floor• If you need to stretch, use the washroom, or get a snack or during, feel free. We won’t have any structured breaks in our short session today• Not a debate• Use the Ladder of Inference to your benefit.
  • 4. Who’s behind this?
  • 5. Why are you all here today?• Learn about child care in Golden• Hear about this Feasibility Study• Ask questions to clarify your understanding of the issue• Have a discussion and start to consider how the community can come together to strengthen the options that parents will have for early learning and care of their children 0 – 5.• To make a difference
  • 6. Icebreaker: Describe this object
  • 7. Feasibility study for Infant/Toddlerand/or group daycare in Golden, BC Objectives
  • 8. Objective #1Conduct the research to determine the feasibilityand viability of such a facility – approach thestudy anew. Provide data and research that looks atwhat’s happening in our local area, but also what ishappenings in other similar regions with likedemographics/psychographics and economicpressures.
  • 9. fea·si·bil·i·ty fēzəˈbilitēfeasibility - the quality of beingdoableFeasibility Study:An analysis and evaluation of a proposed project todetermine if it (1) is technically feasible, (2) isfeasible within the estimated cost and (3) will beviable. Feasibility studies are almost alwaysconducted where large sums are at stake.
  • 10. vi·a·ble ˈvīəbəlCapable of working successfully;Able to break even or make a profit.―The proposed investment waseconomically viable".
  • 11. Objective #2Look at specific types of models that could sustaina facility in a small rural BC community – bestpractices. Look at the overall social/environmentaland economic (the triple bottom-line)issues facingthe Golden and Area A area and using globalresearch, look at how a unique model(s) couldsustain such a facility.
  • 12. Objective #3Review the value of linking various training andeducation models with the childcare centre.College of the Rockies is very interested insupporting our community to help sustain a childcare facility, however, the facility must be tied toeducation and training.
  • 13. We have an opportunity here
  • 14. We have an opportunity here
  • 15. It’s all about vision…―[We] envision a caring community thatacknowledges, values and supports the sharedresponsibility of investing in our children so that theymay live, learn, play and dream in safe and healthysurroundings‖
  • 16. …and a vibrant communityMayor Aman Virk defined a vibrant communityas one with families; one in which families canbe seen walking down the street, participating incommunity activities.Interview with Aman Virk by Laurie Dalzell, Town Office, February 4, 2009.
  • 17. Collaboration…• Business• Town of Golden• Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy• Golden Area Initiatives• Community Support workers• Interior Health Authority• Ministry of Children and Families• College of the Rockies• Okanagan Regional Library• Parents• Giving Tree Child Care Society• Golden Employment Services• Columbia Valley Credit Union• Public Health• School District #6 Administration and School Board• Early Childhood Development Coalition• Golden Family Centre• Community Resource Society• Golden Women’s Centre
  • 18. …and our children
  • 19. Golden’s community of EarlyLearning and Care• Parents• Early Childhood Development Coalition• Giving Tree Child Care Society• Child Care Resource and Referral• Mother Goose Program• Skills Upgrading for Parents at COTR• Strong Start (at APES)• 7 Licensed Family Child Care locations• 2 licensed Preschools (Giant Steps and Little Chimps)• 5 Registered Licensed Not Required (LNR)• Bubbling Babies (Public Health)• Wee Care Drop In• Parson Kids Club• GCRS Afterschool Care Program at APES
  • 20. Early Development Instrument
  • 21. Vulnerability as measured by the EDI45403530 Windermere25 Kimberly Golden20 SD6 overall15 Revelstoke10 5 0 Physical Social Emotional Language Communication One or more
  • 22. So what?15 x 15:A ComprehensivePolicy Framework forEarly Human CapitalInvestment in BC
  • 23. New paradigm of economic development
  • 24. Description of current care options• Licensed family care• Registered License Not Required• Licensed Pre school• Family members• Trade with friends• Paid private babysitters
  • 25. LNR• 2 children or a sibling group other than the care giver’s own children. If it is a Registered LNR that means that the caregiver is registered with the Child Care Referral Service.
  • 26. Licensed family care• This is the only ―day care‖ option that parents have in Golden.• Home based care• Rigorous licensing process• The women that run these business truly care about our children and about the parents whom they serve.• They hold various levels of certification
  • 27. Numbers puzzle• 1 under 1• 2 under 2• 3 under 3• 4 under 4
  • 28. Current full-time capacity with Licensed Care in Golden• 7 infants If there are 0 infants• 7-12 – 23 mo. (currently the• 7-24 -35 mo. case), then,• 7-36 – 47 mo. 21 - 12 – 35 month• 21- 4 and older 7 – 36 – 47 month old 21 – 4 – 12 year olds
  • 29. To fill the family home daycare is like doing a tile puzzle
  • 30. Survey says…Three surveys created:• Parents• Employers• Family home child care providers
  • 31. Survey data: • 118 households • 173 children 0 – 14 • 24 employers represented and business • 107 preschool aged— owners 22% of the total • 5 of the 7 family population of LHA18 home child care • 21 Future parents providers represented
  • 32. What type of child care peopleaccess now
  • 33. Current working situation
  • 34. What she said…“Would love to work if I could find childcare at anaffordable rate, for all 3 in the same place, for thehours I require - flexibility being key”“Being new to Golden and looking for work opportunities is challengingwith limited care options. Im hesitant to seek out work if I cant coverthe hours for child care.”“I work full-time and thensome, my childcare provider isextremely flexible andaccommodating.”
  • 35. How much and what type is needed?
  • 36. “I still need the same amount of childcare, but now that my daughter is in fullday school, there is not so much planning orstress around finding day care.”“The hardest need to fill is on the spot childcare sothat I can attend a job interview”“I was previously unemployed after maternityleave, since I was unable to find daycare to return towork. Now I am trying to return to the workforce fulltime again.”
  • 37. Future Parents get out their crystalball…
  • 38. Having choices… 90%
  • 39. Employer SurveysThere is truly a lack of child care optionsfor our staff“Child care has always been a challenge for workingfamilies in Golden - cost and availability are the twomajor barriers to access. Staffing (licensed to practiceECEs) - hard to find.”“Our business runs from noon until after midnight. With childcare options always stopping at 5:00pm the only option for ourstaff who work nights are to rely on family members orpartners. We have had one employee quit when thisarrangement put too much strain on her relationship with herhusband.”
  • 40. Observations up to this point?• Questions about what we’ve covered so far?• Any thing that stands out?
  • 41. Large group Q&A
  • 42. Small group discussion topics• Ways to enhance meaningful communication and action on this topic.• What resources can we pool and how can we do it to make a facility available that has an early learning and care element to it (group child care)?• Why is this an important topic for community economic development?• How is your organization impacted by the availability (or lack of availability) of early learning and care options?
  • 43. Regroup and Share
  • 44. Commitments not campaignpromises.
  • 45. Questions? Comments?• Thank you for participating today.• The final report is due by December 16. We will be holding a community presentation around that date the we look forward to seeing you all at.• If you have any further questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me or someone on the oversight committee:•; 530.544.3302• Karen Cathcart, Joanne McCullough, Rhonda Smith