School District #40 Early Learning

Exploring in the sand table at a StrongStart Early Learning Centre

Early Learning

The Board of Education of School District No. 40 (New Westminster) is strongly committed to Early Childhood Development and Learning, and the development of quality early intervention and prevention services for children and families to ensure that children arrive at school ready to learn.

Kids New West Child Development Committee

School District No. 40 has been actively involved in the Kids New West Child Development Committee (and the former New Westminster Early Childhood Development Committee) since its inception, and has participated in the planning process that led to the development and revision of the Kids New West Child Development Committee's Strategic Plan.

District Early Learning Advisory Committee

In 2006, when the Ministry of Education expanded the mandate of school districts to include early learning, the District Early Learning Advisory Committee (ELAC) was established. Since early childhood was relatively unchartered territory for the District, an invitation to join the committee went out to members of the New Westminster Early Childhood Development Committee and Douglas College's Early Childhood Development Department to support the District in the development of a District Early Learning Vision. The committee explored:

  • "What we Know" about effective early learning practices;
  • "What we Believe" about early learning;
  • "What we Want" for early learning in our school district and our community; and, "
  • "What we Do", which resulted in a plan of action that the District would initiate.

This process resulted in the development of the District Early Learning Vision.  Each year this vision is reviewed and based on existing realities, priorities for the coming year are established. 

Working with HELP

School District No. 40 annually works with the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) at UBC, to the implement Early Development Instrument (EDI). The resulting EDI maps, and Community Summaries, provide a snapshot of the vulnerability of children in neighbourhoods throughout the City, and have heightened awareness at both the school district and the community level of the importance of Early Childhood Development, and the necessity to develop polices and programs that support children and families.

Child Care Task Force

At the direction of the Board of Education, a Child Care Task Force was established in the spring of 2009.The result was revised policy and administrative procedures that more clearly defines the roles and relationship of school staff and child care providers. Another important outcome of this process was the establishment of a Child Care Protocol between SD 40 and the City of New Westminster that outlines a common interest in maintaining and, where possible, expanding child care spaces for families in facilities owned by each respective organization.

For additional information on Early Learning in the District, please contact Belinda Scott, District Vice Principal,  at 604-517-6111 or at bscott@sd40.bc.ca.