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Understanding new ways of delivering services to young children and families: The Toronto First Duty project evaluation

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The Department of Human Development and Applied Psychology presents Carl Corter discussing local research and its link to integrative provincial policy developments in Best Start and the new full-day preschool learning initiative.

Location

Department of Human Development and Applied Psychology, OISE/UT
252 Bloor Street West, Floor 5, Room 260
Toronto
Canada

The Department of Human Development and Applied Psychology presents Carl Corter professor & chair of the Atkinson Centre for Society & Child Development and the Department of Human Development and Applied Psychology, OISE/UT.

Integrated services for young children and families are part of the new international policy landscape, but there is limited evidence on the effectiveness of these programs and how they develop on the ground. This talk links local research to integrative provincial policy developments in Best Start and the new full-day preschool learning initiative for 4- and 5-year-olds. The research examines Toronto First Duty (TFD), an integrated early childhood services demonstration project that combines kindergarten, child care and parenting supports in five school sites. The aim of the TFD model is to support the development of children and to support their parents with parenting programs and childcare. The research was designed to describe how the model was implemented, as well as the effects of the project at three levels: 1) programs, practice and policy; 2) children and families; and 3) community impacts and awareness. Our finding suggested positive effects of the project at the first two levels- for programming quality and professional work and for parental engagement and children's social-emotional development. Paradoxically, we found almost no community awareness of the TFD project in the local sites, but our tracking of the policy impact of the project shows influence from the local to international levels. Despite the evidence of overall project success, the findings also showed variable success across sites and many roadblocks to integration, case studies of implementation at the sites suggest important processes that may mediate between the introduction of a new approach and positive outcomes for children and families.

Wine and cheese will be served in the Student Lounge.

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