Province provides free online access to resources for professionals and students in early years fields

Living Textbooks will be Updated Regularly, Accessible Anywhere in Manitoba: Fielding

The province is providing free access for students and professionals across Manitoba to online learning resources on prenatal and child development, Families Minister Scott Fielding announced today. The Science of Early Child Development (SECD) includes regularly updated living textbooks and modules that offer current research and links to practice through a convenient online platform, accessible via computer, tablet and smartphone.

“We are making a first-of-its-kind investment in the early years fields in Manitoba to increase professional development opportunities, encourage independent study, strengthen the sectors that work with children and families, and improve the quality of services for Manitoba families,” Fielding announced at Red River College. “Living textbooks are a cost-effective way to continually expand knowledge, provide educational opportunities and relay the latest research for everyone involved in the early learning and child-care sector.”

The province will provide $365,000 to Red River College (RRC) through the Canada-Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care Agreement with the federal government to open up provincewide access for two living textbooks and three additional modules. This will eliminate the license fee currently required to register, which will benefit hundreds of students and teaching staff as well as early learning and child-care professionals, family child-care providers, teachers, public health staff, community organizations and any Manitobans interested in the impact of early experience on lifelong health and well-being. RRC will oversee the initiative and report to government on annual usage.

“The Government of Canada is very pleased that investments from the Canada–Manitoba early learning and child care bilateral agreement are being used to develop innovative projects such as the living textbook,” said Robert-Falcon Ouellette, member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre. “Flexible access to quality training for educators and students is a major step forward in supporting a quality early learning environment for Manitoba’s children.”

RRC researched and developed the SECD initiative in partnership with the University of Toronto and the Aga Khan Development Network. These resources are currently used in other jurisdictions but this is the first time they are being made openly available in Manitoba. The site is updated regularly and includes readings, videos of children’s programs around the world, interviews with experts, links to reports and websites, reflection questions and interactive activities. The information supports courses in the Child Care Assistant and Early Childhood Educator training programs.

“Red River College is proud to be a leader in social innovation in Manitoba,” said Paul Vogt, president and CEO of RRC. “The SECD resource is a globally recognized, successful research and resource tool that is elevating the success of our early childhood educators within the classroom. We are pleased that this Manitoba-made, award-winning research and educational resource, created right here at Red River College by our knowledgeable staff and faculty, will now continue to provide all front-line child-care workers in the province with the tools, skills and training necessary to shape young minds and build a strong foundation for bright futures.”

Manitobans can access SECD at https://content.scienceofecd.com/mbaccess. Available resources include the living textbook, Child Development Primer / Introduction au développement de l’enfant modules and Prenatal Development, geared to the public health sector.