Early Childhood Intervention Week was featured in the Prince Albert Herald, including the community’s seventh annual
Early Childhood Fair.
The event provided an opportunity for the public to find out what services are available for families in the Prince Albert area.
April 28 to May 4 was Early Childhood Intervention Week, which promotes the work of the Prince Albert Early Childhood Interventions Program and the work it has been doing since 1980.
Medical groups: Curb junk food ads to kids
A coalition of medical groups wants to protect children under 13 from ads for unhealthy food and drinks, the CBC reports.
The Canadian Medical Association, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Hypertension Canada and other groups released a statement on May 9 calling on food manufacturers to stop advertising foods high in fat, sugar and salt to children.
As support, they point to everything from decisions from the Supreme Court of Canada to World Health Organization recommendations that are critical of advertisers that capitalize on children.
The Saskatchewan government has changed the name from the Child and Youth Agenda to the Child and Family Agenda.
The province says the change, announced on April 17, reflects the changing focus for the Cabinet Committee on Children and Youth, comprised of ministers from across government.
“The Committee is expanding our mandate to include additional work in the areas of education, health, and family supports to respond to the needs of young people and their families today,” Social Services Minister and Committee Chair June Draude said in a news release. “Our cross-government approach will now be referred to as the Saskatchewan Child and Family Agenda to reflect the critical role that parents and other family members play in the lives of children and youth, as well as the emphasis that our government is placing on supporting the family as a whole.”
More children are being cared for by grandparents, says a story in the StarPhoenix.
The newspaper reports that more than 5,400 children in Saskatchewan have a grandparent as primary caregiver. This is based on census data from 2011 and represents a rise of approximately 17 per cent since the previous census in 2006.
Parental care in hospital helps premature babies
A pilot study has found that premature infants fare better if parents are heavily involved in their hospital care, the CBC reports.
The stress of living in a “sick” neighbourhood could be affecting children’s sleep and ultimately their well-being, according to a new Concordia study.
The Montreal Gazette reported that a study by Jennifer McGrath, the director of Concordia University's pediatric public health psychology laboratory, found that children, like adults, faced more sleep disturbances if they lived in “disordered” neighbourhoods.
These were considered areas with higher poverty, unemployment and crime rates, and concerns about noise and safety. The team looked at 91 Montreal children, 5-15, and found that the children from disadvantaged communities had the worst sleep, which can have both short- and long-term developmental effects.
Child care spaces as part of Lumsden renovation
More child care spaces will be included in a major renovation at Lumsden Elementary, the provincial government announced on March 15. The $10.5 million project will include a new licensed child care centre with 51 spaces, as well as more gym space, expanded arts and science facilities, Learning Street (common area) that will serve as a gathering place for students.
A Concordia researcher has found that children that start music lessons before age seven have an advantage over those starting later.
Dr. Virginia Penhune appeared on the CBC Radio science program, Quirks and Quarks, recently to discuss the findings.
Through brain scans, the study found benefits to the corpus callosum, the part of the brain that transfers motor skill information between the two hemispheres, for those that start music early. Typically, the corpus callosum shows thicker fibres and more of them.
On the other hand, scans showed little difference between those that started playing after age seven and non-musicians.
Regina schools bring in aboriginal learning tool
A pilot program for a new aboriginal oral learning tool is expanding to three Regina schools, the Leader-Post reports.
Early years programs and interactive reading are among the ways to boost children’s IQ scores, according to recent study results.
The Globe and Mail reports that a study in Perspectives of Psychological Science looked at what works and what doesn’t when it comes to enhancing children’s intelligence, such as early years supports for low socioeconomic status parents, preschool programs, interactive reading, exposure to music, even supplements such as fish oil in expecting mothers’ diets.
Muhajarine and Chouinard publish editorial on how walkable Saskatoon is
In an editorial in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix, the authors look at how easy it is to walk around different neighbourhoods in Saskatoon, saying while some neighbourhoods are easy to get around, the city as a whole " trails many others in Canada when it comes to getting around on two feet."
Public library launches program aimed at infants
The Regina Public Library has just launched its Read Together Regina program, says the Leader-Post.
Through the program, parents get a book bag with books and other resources while they are at the hospital. They can go into any library branch and get a library card for their baby and a bib with the Read Together Regina logo.
The province hopes to expand pre-kindergarten to make it available to every four-year-old in the province. Pre-kindergarten was the subject of a recent article in the StarPhoenix.
Education Minister Russ Marchuk did not give any timelines but said that the government would like to expand the program and include vulnerable three-year-olds as well.
The article outlines some of the benefits of pre-kindergarten, such as socialization, speech, family involvement, and physical and language development.
Doctors should check whether children on alternative treatments
Researchers suggest physicians should check with parents about whether children are taking alternative or complementary medicines, the CBC reports.
A new study has found that Canadian medical schools are producing too many doctors for some pediatric specialities and too few for others, the National Post reports.
The study, just published in Paediatrics and Child Health, found, for example, that twice as many pediatric neurologists as needed are being trained, while the number of neonatologists, those that treat premature and sick newborns, is half of what will be required by hospitals. In all, there was only one close match among 16 sub-speciality categories when it came to supply versus demand.
UBC study: Small acts boost children’s happiness, fight bullying
Small acts of kindness may prove to be a good way for children to improve their happiness and fight bullying, the Canadian Press reports.
Innovation and equal funding are among the main themes in a recent report from a task force looking into aboriginal education outcomes, the StarPhoenix reports.
The Joint Task Force on Improving Education and Employment Outcomes for First Nations and Metis People released its interim report on Monday.
The funding gap between First Nations schools and provincial schools was one key theme that came up during discussions, as was the need to implement new strategies.
The task force will make formal recommendations in a final report next spring.
Gene scanning could offer more prenatal info
Scanning genes could provide more potential health information about a fetus than current prenatal tests, says an Associated Press story.
The video is called Strong Beginnings…Brighter Futures, highlights the importance of the early years, programs and services for families living in the area, and also draws attention to the fact that too many children are starting life vulnerable, according to data from the Early Development Instrument (EDI). The news story reports that young children from the Battlefords were lagging in all areas except emotional maturity.