Unplug & Play Family Literacy Week
Unplug & Play Week is organized by Project Literacy Central Okanagan Society with the support of Partners for Literacy and the Central Okanagan Early Years Partnership and runs from Sunday, April 18 to Saturday, April 24, 2021.
It provides families with community supported activities designed to increase their time spent participating in healthy, interactive play. Children’s time away from screens is critical for developing essential life skills such as self-regulation, creativity and learning through physical and imaginative play. Unplug and Play encourages children, families, and communities to unplug from their screens and explore different ways of spending time together. Please check out their website: Free Family Activities – Unplug and Play Week
Starbright Parent Survey Results – Thank you!
Thank you to the parents and caregivers who took the time to complete the Starbright online survey last summer and early fall! The online survey was our first try at collecting feedback that way from our clients. Our Committees have had time over the past months to analyze the results and gain learnings from them. One very valuable thing we learned was that adopting a commercially-developed survey saves time but it does not properly reflect what we actually do. Over these months a new survey was developed that will not only gather feedback on our Starbright service delivery, but will allow you to give comments instead of just a rating. We are very interested in what you have to say.
The results of the online survey did give us some positives. We want you to know that we appreciate the positive feedback on: (a) the appreciation of parents and caregivers for the collaborative team approach of Starbright personnel; (b) the respect and caring shown to parents/caregivers and children by Starbright staff; (c) the attention paid to the holistic needs of the child and families; (d) the consistency of information provided to parents and caregivers by Starbright staff, indicating a high level of internal communication; and, (e) the care and attention to the involvement of parents and caregivers in the early intervention decisions concerning their child. We hope you took the opportunity to let us know again how we are doing in the recent survey that just went out for 2019!
To our valued stakeholder! Thank you from all of us at Starbright.
Thank you so very much to all who provided feedback to us on our stakeholder survey in 2018! Gathering feedback from referral sources is critical to us as a CARF-accredited agency. It is a mandated part of our accreditation standards.
The percentages amalgamated through the survey indicated that participants felt: (a) Starbright staff respect their opinion and work in a collaborative manner; (b) provided a satisfactory level of frequency of contact; (c) satisfaction with the overall quality of services provided by Starbright; (d) information needed was accessible on the Starbright website; (e) Starbright staff respond to their requests for information in a timely manner; and (f) the process of referring a client to Starbright was user-friendly. Thank you!
A significant learning for us from this survey was that comments are extremely important – not just ratings – and would give the context for the ratings received. A new survey has been developed that will be sent out in 2020. We are hopeful you will consider participating.
The Central Okanagan Family Hub
The Central Okanagan Family Hub/Province of BC’s Early Year’s Centre, offers a one-stop shop where families and children can drop-in for information or attend a program offered by a network of local agencies that suits their needs, such as early learning programs, or parent and tot drop-ins. The Hub provides referrals to intervention services, health services, social supports such as housing and rental assistance, food security, low cost services/activities and other resources available in the community
Programs that have been offered among others include:
- Tumble Bumble
- Nobody’s Perfect
- Breastfeeding Café
- World Garden
- Special Events
- Bond to literacy
- Lift the Lip
- Post natal wellness
- Japanese Storytelling
Hub staff will connect parents to the over 300 services currently available to them in the Kelowna area. Throughout the process, hub staff will reduce barriers that inhibit parents from accessing the community support networks. Who do I call? How do I get there? What form do I need to fill out? Do I qualify for a particular service?
While building trusting and meaningful relationships with parents, the Hub will be able to steer participants in the right direction and be a mentor/advocate at each and every step of the process.
Please take a look at their website: http://cofh.ca/
Private Therapy Services
Parents wishing to explore private therapy options while waiting for service at Starbright are welcome to do so. In some cases, private therapy may be covered by extended health plans. Accessing private therapy does not affect your placement on the Starbright waitlist; when you are contacted by Starbright to receive service you may elect to do so.
Locating a Private Therapist
The following websites may contain additional information:
Physiotherapy Association of BC https://bcphysio.org/
Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists http://www.caot.ca/
Or visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/managing-your-health/child-behaviour-development/special-needs/autism-spectrum-disorder/build-your-support-team/registry-autism-service-providers
Please take a look at our monthly newsletter.
Free video materials to support parents to understand the importance of early nurturing and the development of the infant and young child! Are you looking for some support on your journey as a parent? You want to do the “right thing”, but maybe you don’t know what that is? Well, parenting is a learned skill. It takes time, patience and help from others to become a confident parent. KidCareCanada has created wonderful videos that support you as a parent, so that you can relax and enjoy your baby. Take a look at their website www.kidcarecanada.org and watch their videos. These videos have been translated into 11 different languages and are captioned for the deaf and hard of hearing, which is also a benefit for those learning English.
Click on the link to download a list of terrific iPAD apps for younger children. The list was compiled by our own Speech Language Pathology and Autism teams! iPad Apps
Looking for some information about autism? There is an excellent BC Government website with a handbook for parents that can answer a lot of your questions! The website: http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/autism/ and the handbook can be found at http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/autism/pdf/autism_handbook_web.pdf.
Here is a wonderful video that speaks so eloquently about Autism!
Connecting with Other Families
The Family Support Institute of BC has a network of over 200 volunteers who support families across the province by sharing experiences and expertise, connecting families with each other, guiding families to supports and services in their regions, facilitating training and educational sessions, and developing relationships so families know they are not alone. Their website is http://www.familysupportbc.com/.
Other Families’ Stories Around the Importance of Early Intervention
Through our membership in the British Columbia Association of Child Development and Intervention, we have had inspiring stories shared with us that we can, in turn, share with you! Click on the links and read about how other parents have sought the support and help of Child Development Centres around the province! If you want to share YOUR story with us, we would be delighted! Simply let the clinician, therapist, or consultant with whom you work know!
Looking for Research?
Another wonderful resource is the UBC Human Early Learning Partnership (H.E.L.P.), a collaborative and interdisciplinary research network based at UBC that explores how early environments and experiences have dramatic effects on children’s development. Their website is http://earlylearning.ubc.ca/.
Another research hub is found at the Can Child Centre for Childhood Disability Research located at McMaster’s University. They focus on what will improve the lives of children and youth with disabilities and their families. The website is: http://www.canchild.ca/en/.
Speech and Language Development
We have included some wonderful articles you may find helpful from our Speech and Language department: