Last week I met with six MUN faculty members about a possible research project at New Dimensions Child Care, a new not for profit child care centre. All were interested to continue the discussion and explore the possibilities for such research, and we will be meeting again in a couple of weeks. It was suggested to me at that meeting that I contact the Harris Centre about this. I looked through this initial contact document and saw that much of the information you ask for is beyond where we are at the present time. Below, I'm sending you what I sent out in my first email to the MUN faculty about the need for this research endeavor. Is this too soon for us to connect with Harris Centre or can I meet with you to get some advice about how we might move forward and what resources might be available for such a project?
Here is the email where I outlined the need and idea:
Since we have opened our New Dimensions Child Care, I have been concerned about the children in our surrounding neighborhood that we are unable to have come to us for three reasons:
-their families cannot access the government's subsidy because the parents are not employed or going to school,
-the parents' finances come from social assistance which does not allow them to pay for child care
-the children are not in that high risk category which allows them to have a social worker who can approve the family for a child care subsidy.
From our work with the children in our community over the past 30 years, we have watched many of them struggle with their school work. Many of these children I feel are ones that have been or will be identified for pathways support. (In my last years of teaching at Leary's Brook Jr. High, we had 30% of our students on pathways support. Two weeks ago I was talking to the principal there who told me that percentage has increased!)
My idea is to have a study which might do the following:
- allow us to access these children in our neighborhood;
- design a play-based curriculum that permeates with developing character life skills and readies the children for success in school;
- assess and track these children from preschool and maybe even up to 6th grade; and
- plan for making connections with the primary/elementary schools the children will be attending.