Thrive by 5: Foundation Workshop Full Notes - page 8

8
KEYCHALLENGESOFTHECURRENT
SYSTEM
Thenext pieceof the FoundationWorkshopwas tobegin
identifying the key challenges in the current ECD system.
Thepurposeof this exercisewas to surface and share
assumptions andbegin articulating a shared narrativeof
the current reality of theEarlyChildhoodDevelopment
system inCalgary (a coreFoundationWorkshop
objective).
In small groups, participants discussed:
What, in your
view, are the5most current challenging aspects of
theECD system?
Thegroupwas encouraged to think of ‘system’ as
broadly as possible, and
Small groupswere asked to identify five key
challenges that they collectively agreedon (i.e.: NOT
oneeach)
Groups spent 30minutes talking and listening about
themost critical challenges in theECD system
DEBRIEF
Group1
Collaboration – lack of understandingof what it is
and thepracticeof it
Social isolation/lack of connectedness inour
neighbourhoods
Lack of parenting support and tools – “kids don’t
comewith amanual”
Lack of perceived value for professionalswhowork
with children and families
Gravitate to “fixingproblems” vs. building capacity
and acceptance that everyone needs support
Group2
Integrated/re-coordinated system focusedon
children and families
Need for variety of affordable child-care – can you
ensure equity?
Spectrum from living inpoverty tomakingbad
choiceswithmoney/lack of financial literacy
o We’re not preparingpeople to live in a consumer
society
o “Just ‘cause you’repoor doesn’tmean you’re
doing abad job raising your kids”
We need a changing response to a changing reality –
we can’t keep up
Need a cultureof shared responsibility for raisingour
kids
Group3
Before5 seems tobe thebusiness of the family (not
thegovernment or any other systems)
Evidencebased approaches result in funding
Sector is squeezeddry; that breathing space for
innovation is low
o What if we coulddream thebigdream?
Parents are trying todo thebest they can
Broader society doesn’t recognize / doesn’t see there
is aproblem
Group4
General senseof apathy – “not our kids, not our
problem”
Sharing information across all systems
Urbanplanning – planmore inclusive communities
andwemight get better results
Monitoringqualifications of day homes
Election/political cycles – are they related to the
interest andwhat we’re looking at right now?
Group 5
Lack of system integration / compartmentalizationof
issues
Move away fromone response for all kids
Demands placedon thosewhodeliver services
aroundmisaligned fundermandates
o Not a shared funding vision
Lip-service to valuing childrenwhenour actions don’t
alignwithour claims
Lack of transparency aroundmajor systems that work
with children – cultural fear and anxiety that is not
contributing towellness for anyone
Group 6
What about education and childcare systems that are
not aligning to current needs?
Structures and institutions reflect values that are no
longer relevant – roleof women, family structures
ECD knowledgemobilization in all its forms – have all
this knowledge, but howdo youget it, in its various
forms to the isolated/newparent?
Look at how libraries/banks are adapting to changing
contexts?
REFLECTIONQUESTION:
What do you notice about the challenges you identified?
There are amultitudeof items up there (but asked
for “most critical”because that is part of how you
change a system)
Some are very specific and some are speaking to
broader values, ideals, historical processes
Definitionof system as defined as the frameof
reference for theperson speaking
o We’re “flexingourmuscles” about how towork
together on this
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