Family Time Online – Description
Working in collaboration with key program providers, we are shining a light on best practices to create and test an exemplary model and practitioners guide for providing virtual literacy programs for families with children newborn to three years of age. We also focused on building digital literacy capacity for both parents and practitioners and increasing awareness and linkages to programs and supports for both adults and children in New Brunswick.
We took the best practices that are happening, documented them, developed training materials, provided training modules and opportunities for knowledge, and experienced exchanges between practitioners and organizations. The result was a New Brunswick model of virtual programming and an accompanying online Educator’s Guide of best practices and resources and a strengthened Family and Early Childhood sector who provide programs for children (birth to 3 years) and their families. It also resulted in a strengthened adult component to family literacy programming and increased linkages to adult literacy learning and employment counselling.
The project goals, working in collaboration with key Family and Early Childhood Educators, were:
- Documenting and exploring promising practices through online participation in joyful literacy experiences between infants, toddlers, caring adults, families, and educators.
- Building digital literacy.
- Increasing awareness of programs and supports for adults’ educational upgrading and job searches in New Brunswick.
- Piloting and creating and Educator’s Guide with approximately 20 families.
There were also project goals for the educators, families and children, which were:
- Increased access to online programs
- Improved confidence and flexibility when it came to accessing online programming
- Reduced provider cost compared to in-person delivery
- More frequent (virtual) supports which encourage participation and retention
- Improved outcomes for family and/or children
The project provided:
- Parrallel literacy kits – giving both the educator and families the same books, toys, and materials to mirror each other during online sessions.
- High speed internet – families who did not previously have internet had a high speed internet connection set up for them at no cost to the family.
- Online family literacy sessions – educators met with families individually online for a one-on-one experience.
- Information on other programs – information on other family related programs, as well as adult literacy and employment information, were given to families.
- An overall project evaluation.