Pan-Canadian Conference the First Opportunity to Review Early Development
Data for Children Across the Country

TORONTO, Nov. 9 /CNW/ - Across Canada, 25% of children start kindergarten without the skills they need to succeed in school. Yet from region to region the numbers of children vulnerable in kindergarten vary dramatically. From November 16 to 18, 2009, child development, education and health experts from across the country will gather in Winnipeg, Manitoba, for a first look at pan-Canadian data on the state of children's development. The event will be the launch of a pan-Canadian mapping project that will illustrate how Canadian children are doing from coast to coast.

The conference, The Early Development Imperative: A Pan-Canadian Conference on Population Level Measurement of Children's Development, will celebrate ten years of the Early Development Instrument (EDI), a population level measurement of children's development co-authored by the late Dan Offord and Magdalena Janus, and now used across the country and internationally. The event will feature presentations by Chief Public Health Officer for Canada, David Butler Jones, world-renowned early child development experts Clyde Hertzman and Fraser Mustard, co-author of the Early Development Instrument, Magdalena Janus and Australian child development expert, Sally Brinkman.

The three-day conference will include keynote presentations, workshops and seminars on a wide range of topics related to early child development and factors related to school readiness in different communities and regions, including early childhood experiences, family and socioeconomic backgrounds, and children's development in Aboriginal communities. The conference will also be an opportunity to celebrate 10 years of community innovation across Canada in using research to build local and national programs and partnerships.

One of the main goals of the conference is to increase awareness and understanding of the link between experiences in the early years and how children fare later on, in school and as adults. School readiness in kindergarten is a powerful predictor of school success and ultimately, of education and career opportunities in adulthood.

Understanding how Canadian children are doing is the first step towards ensuring they develop to their fullest potential. The ground breaking launch of this pan-Canadian early development data furthers this understanding and strengthens our national platform of action in early childhood development.

For program details and speakers biographies, visit: http://www.councilecd.ca/cecd/home.nsf/pages/EDIWinnipeg_home.html

SOURCE COUNCIL FOR EARLY CHILD DEVELOPMENT

For further information: For further information: Allison Black, Communications Officer, at (416) 849-1332 or ablack@councilecd.ca

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COUNCIL FOR EARLY CHILD DEVELOPMENT

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