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Community Success Stories

Every community celebrates their strengths and responds to the local needs through strategic actions. 

Explore the stories we are excited to share with you.

Collaborative Planning

Digital Play Packs

Lethbridge Early Years Coalition (LEYC) created five themes of Digital Play Packs to help parents and caregivers find balance between engaging in active play opportunities and digital play with their children. Learning from the West Red Deer County Early Childhood Coalition, LEYC created Science Magic, Hide & Seek and Superhero Fun Digital Play Packs (DPPs).

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Collective Impact

Documenting Impact

Aligning the key conditions of collective impact, ECCA initiated a shared measurement plan. Data collection was a component made possible in the partnership with CoLab-Online. Innovative practice allowed for Coalition involvement along the way with engagement for the Framework and customized data collection tools. Collection, tracking, and reporting progress provided accountability and was instrumental in

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Collective Impact

ECCA Podcast

Networks and coalitions can play an important role in fostering social innovation. When used well, they help diverse changemakers bring their unique perspectives and efforts together to better understand and address complex problems.  In this episode, we hear from three changemakers within ECCA (Early Childhood Coalitions of Alberta). Janice Kraemer, one of ECCA’s Provincial Liaisons.

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Collective Impact

Circle of Influence

Coalitions have been instrumental in ensuring the early childhood lens is applied throughout the community by representing young children at such initiatives as End Poverty, inter-agency & social planning committees, Child Friendly organizations, professional foundations and associations including Alberta Family Wellness Initiative, Muttart Foundation, the Alberta Library Association, and Alberta Early Childhood Educators Association (AECEA),

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Collaborative Planning

Guest Speakers

For more than 10 years, Coalitions have collaborated with other stakeholders to host guest speakers including Jean Clinton, Junlei Li, Judy Cameron, Gabor Mate, Gordon Neufeld, Jeff Johnson, Phil McRae, Ooey Gooey Inc., Mary Lambert, Monique Grey Smith, Jody Carrington, Robin Gibb, Magdalena Janus, Line Perron, Imagine Institute, Cafe Institute, Motivention, Ready to Raise, Nancy

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Coalition Capacity

Regional & Provincial Gatherings

ECCA hosted Provincial Gatherings: “Moving from Awareness to Action” in 2016 and “Our Data, Our Stories, Our Journey” in 2017. Building on this, Coalitions hosted and gathered for conferences, retreats, and other professional development events regionally to enhance relationships and celebrate successes, collaboration and effective teamwork. ‘Connecting the Dots’ gathered 50 Coalitions from Central and

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Coalition Development

Brain Certification

Coalitions across the province have increased awareness of the Brain Story and several Coalitions including Two Hills and Fort Macleod have had majority of Coalition members take the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative’s Brain Story Certification. Enroll today in this free, in-depth online course for anyone who wants to learn more about the science of brain

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Community Thinking

We can grow

Lac La Biche Coalition locally developed “We can grow” booklets using community photos and voices to share key messages. Learn more on their local Coalition page.

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Community Thinking

I am

Strathcona County, Bow Valley, Edmonton Millwoods and many more Coalitions brought key early childhood messages to their communities through newsletters, posters, videos, social and apps.  Inspired by others, many Coalitions created unique resources, including “I am” messages.  The process served as professional development, collaborating with others to ensure appropriate literacy and cultural considerations, and a

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Community Thinking

Loose Parts Play

Outdoor “Loose Parts Play” is a collaboration with Calgary Coalitions and recreation professionals. Loose Parts Boxes are located in neighbourhood green spaces. Play is key to development and imaginative play allows children to develop their own ideas and explore their world.

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Community Thinking

Little Grain Elevators

Little grain elevator libraries are part of southern Alberta’s landscape thanks to the collaboration efforts in Cypress County. Check out the story here!

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Collective Impact

Roving Gyms

Roving Gyms were in response to the need to increase physical health and well being for children during the winter months.  In response to the 2014 EDI data, the Medicine Hat Coalition created opportunities to for active play collaborating with many organizations to build engagement. With sustainability for the community, the local YMCA was able

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Coalition Capacity

Community of Practice

Communities of Practice were formed across the province to encourage engagement in collective learning with people who share a common vision to address problems & outcomes that are not easily or effectively achieved by working alone. Discovering West Edmonton, Brooks, Foothills, Calgary, and other Coalitions have hosted communities of practice empowering community, parents, professionals and

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Policy & Practice

Advocacy

Coalitions have been active connecting with politicians and policy makers to support the importance of considering the early years when making funding decisions and creating policy. Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge, and many more Coalitions engage leaders at all levels of government and in community.

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Coalition Capacity

Coalition Outcomes Working Group

Coalitions Outcomes Working Group (COWG) has been responsible for guiding the implementation of the ECCA Outcome Measurement and Evaluation Framework for Early Childhood Coalitions of Alberta, including the development of the Outcome Matrix indicators and tools, as well as a knowledge mobilization plan. Members include volunteer Coalition members government representatives and FCSSAA, who have dedicated

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Community Engagement

National Child Day

National Child Day (NCD) activities fill the month of November throughout the province.  From East Grande Prairie to Edmonton to Lloydminster to Calgary to Hanna, there are so many ways Coalitions are hosting and co-hosting activities for children and families.  St. Paul and Chestermere/Rocky View Coalitions hosted their 6th NCD Play Days in 2019!  Check

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Community Engagement

Social Media

Coalitions have been working diligently to meet caregivers where they are and for many social media was an ideal tool to mobilize early childhood development messages and research. Coalitions have used their social media channels to raise awareness of the importance of the early years and how the first five years of rapid brain development forms

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Collaborative Planning

I’m Ready for Screens

The Impact of Screen Time on Early Childhood Development Symposium was held in Calgary in October 2019.  The Calgary and surrounding Community Coalitions helped to organize, provided financial support and staff a resource table.  The day was a huge success and discussion about what to do with all the research and valuable material started immediately

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Community Thinking

Toddler Truths

We have been busy! Listen in to local radio Country 106.5 FM to hear weekly segments of “Toddler Truths” – an initiative with Two Hills, Vegreville and Lamont Coalitions. This partnership was exciting because the radio listening audience overlaps into all the counties.  We often have people stopping us on the street mentioning that they heard us

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Steps to healing

The Fort Macleod Coalition offered a free public screening of the documentary film “Resilience: The Biology of Stress and The Science of Hope”.  We noticed that this was an area of conversation that was not easy but important for inter-generational conversations and healing. A community member that attended that was particularly moved and after about a

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Collaborative Planning

Cinnamon Bear Comes to Town

The children’s book Cinnamon Bear Comes to Town, penned by Liz Olsen and illustrated by artist Rico, both of Jasper, the book was produced by the Municipality’s Community and Family Services (CFS) department, following discussions at Early Childhood Collaborative Action Team (CAT) meetings about ways to encourage parents to engage in activities with their children.

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Community Engagement

Resiliency

The Wetaskiwin Early Years Coalition hosted the screenings of Paper Tigers and Resilience in 2019 to encourage parents, caregivers and professionals to engage with the topic of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), trauma and the effects of toxic stress. Engaging with new partners to guide the planning and process and a generous in-kind donation, the two

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Coalition Capacity

Brain Architecture Game

The Brain Architecture Game is a tabletop game experience that builds understanding about the powerful role of experiences on brain development – what promotes it, what derails it and with what consequences for society. The game helps participants appreciate the impact of early childhood experiences on long term outcomes and the importance of relationships in

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Community Engagement

Social-Emotional Learning

Our Clearwater Coalition community connections has helped us to improve social and emotional development of children through the Lions Quest workshop we hosted. Banners and flyers explaining the five areas of development and EDI results in Clearwater County are often set up at registration nights in different communities. One of many success stories was connections

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Community Engagement

Traditional Family Parenting

Our Clearwater Coalition collaborates with the community to create healthy children. Through our coalition meetings many relationships have been created between community groups in Clearwater County. These connections have allowed us to share our knowledge and collaborate to promote early development of children in our area. One excellent example of this, is the Traditional Family

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Community Engagement

Camping Kits

Our West Red Deer County Coalition created and assembled camping kits to distribute in and around our four rural Alberta communities. Each kit was full of developmental activities that parents could do with their child while they were camping. The activities were written in child friendly language for families to read together. We distributed 250

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Community Engagement

Teddy Bear Clinics

The idea of a Teddy Bear Clinic started with the Deep South Calgary Coalition. Based off of their success, the North Central Calgary Coalition decided to adopt the idea with some changes. Medical professionals volunteer their time to give teddy bears a “check up”. Families register for a time to ensure a smooth flow and

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Community Engagement

Kindergarten Open House

For the past two years, the Calgary North West Coalition connected with elementary schools in their area, to help support their Kindergarten Open House. The Coalition was able to set up a table which contained I’m Ready Booklets and various other early years resources for parents. At some locations, coalition members were also able to

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Collaborative Planning

CHEF Conference

C.H.E.F. (Cooking Healthy for Early Childhood Foundations) Conference In the spring of 2019, the Calgary West Coalition and the University of Calgary Child Care Centre started a discussion around bringing together people in Calgary and surrounding areas, who cook for an early childhood population. There are many workshops and conferences for early childhood educators, but

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Nature Playground

The Medicine Hat Early Childhood Coalition was successful in receiving a $50,000 grant towards the Sensory Sand & Water Area at the City’s upcoming nature playground.  The main area, complete with climbing structure, swinging ropes, and a loose parts “wacky log” area had already been funded and the Sensory Sand & Water Area was still required funding. 

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Take 5!

Red Deer Coalition’s “Take 5” Campaign was a result of conversations around how to engage families in understanding key early childhood messages.  Engaging with community, they heard from many families: “we’re so busy”.  A strength-based solution was helping them understand that even 5 minutes of time with a child is the difference you can make.

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Play Charter

The 2017 International Play Association (IPA) conference sparked a lot of conversation around the importance of play in our community of Lethbridge. Stakeholders from several organizations were asking the question, “How do we make play a priority for all children and youth in Lethbridge?” Lethbridge Early Years Coalition (LEYC) decided it was time for action.

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Knowledge Mobilization

I’m Ready Booklets Translated!

I’m Ready to Translate!A Linking, Aligning and Leveraging Story(Spotlight By: Phil Carlton on behalf of ALL OF REGION 7)In starting conversations and sparking the beginnings of connections, we often can’t anticipate what our outcomes might be. We have ideas and hopes to be sure, but sometimes the actual impact goes far beyond event those! That

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Collaborative Planning

Central Peace

Central Peace encourages coalition members to refine skills in leadership and strategic planning. The coordinator attended board development sessions offered by Alberta Arts & Culture & hosted though the local municipality. At every available opportunity, they have met with local and provincial government representatives to advocate for community needs regarding desired resources and services.

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Smoky Lake

The coalition has developed EPIC (Explore, Play, Inspire, Connect) to promote the development of all 5 domains in a fun and interactive way. EPIC shows parents how to create simple, fun, and easily replicated activities which will enhance all areas of their child’s development. This is a highly attended workshop and allows parents to make

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Collaborative Planning

Athabasca, Camrose, Lac Ste. Anne & St. Paul Coalitions

Many Coalitions have created “I am growing up” Family Resource Guides to provide an overview of ECCA and definitions of the developmental domains including what to expect and how to encourage growth in the early years. The guide also provides information on local assets such as playgrounds, services and important numbers in case of emergency.

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Fort Saskatchewan

In Fort Saskatchewan, partners came together to host multiple parent and children play sessions and parent conference. Partners in these events included schools, public library, Primary Care Network (PCN), Alberta Health Services (AHS), Parent Link Centre (PLC), Boys & Girls Club, Business Community, RCMP and Kid Sport. Participants received information on the recent local <a

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Lac La Biche

La La Biche Coalition has created several booklets on the specific developmental domains.  The physical literacy booklet highlights simple messages related to growth and development. Photographs of local children were put together in a colourful resource to share with parents and stakeholders. The booklet was highlighted at ChooseWell and Alberta Health Services Healthy Communities Symposium

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Foothills

The Foothills Children’s Wellness Network identified the need to support their local Early Childhood Professionals with local, accessible and affordable professional development. They host an Early Learning Professional Day with key topics and discussions. Topics include: Social-Emotional Well Being, Loose Parts, Alberta Family Wellness’ the Brain Game, Domestic Abuse, the Alberta’s Early Learning and Care

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Collaborative Planning

Beaumont & Leduc

Collaboration between the Beaumont and Leduc & Area Coalition, two videos were developed to promote Early Childhood Development (ECD). The videos were presented to town council and will be shown in local medical clinics and recreation centres in the region.

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Coalitions as of 2020