Active Kids Toolkit Program: New Brunswick

Organization Sponsor: New Brunswick Department of Healthy and Inclusive Communities

Organization Partner: New Brunswick Gymnastics Association / Foundations for All

URLs: 

Program Description

The Active Kids Toolkit Program is a training and resource opportunity for all who work with, or care for young children 0 to 5 years. The Program in its entirety involves training for community members and related organizations as they fall into three categories which represent the three environments in which we find young children: Large for Licensed Daycare, Medium for Community Day Care Homes, and Small for families. The Toolkit materials are multi-purpose, safety inspected, inclusive and designed to support appropriate, quality physical activity and motor skill development for children. Active kids though is much more … it is an exercise in community mobilization and partnership building where various stakeholders come together for the purpose of optimizing the well-being of young children and the adults who work with them. Once these relationships are established, the sky is the limit!

The Active Kids Toolkit workshops are delivered by trained facilitators using the Toolkit materials and Program Manuals. The Manuals provide a foundation for the training day but are the core for the Program user once the training day is over. The Manuals are visually rich, practically written, organized by five age ranges within the 0 to 5 years age span and in lesson plan format. The Large and Medium Toolkits and the corresponding workshops, use the Full Manual (binder) while the Small Toolkit and its shorter training session (delivered by Family Resource Centres) uses Parent Booklets (five booklets corresponding to each age range).

Active Kids Toolkit involves many key partners in the province such as Early Interventionists, Family Resource Centres, Public Libraries, Sport and Recreation Organizations and Community Colleges. These partners inform the evolution and delivery of our program as well as champion healthy, active living within their networks.

Active Play (ages 5 to 6) and Active Youth (ages 7 to 10) are “school friendly” programs that have been designed to ensure that any teacher/educator can safely and effectively use them with little or no experience.

The Active Play/Youth Programs offer each participant “lesson plans.” The activities are non-sport specific and can be used with basic equipment schools/after school programs already have available in addition to the materials in the Active Kids Toolkit.

Active Kids Family Activity Packs were developed to support our partners in the province who operate lending libraries. They are “family fun” designed to promote healthy active living in a way that is consistent with an Early Childhood focus on Wellness. The goal of the Active Kids Family Activity Packs is to help families understand the importance and the fun of building physical activity and other positive health behaviours into their daily lives. We know that parents have a role to play in modeling and supporting physical activity in their children’s lives but not all parents are at a high physical activity level themselves. The Active Kids Family Activity Packs supply many beneficial physical activity and healthy eating tools to families in New Brunswick and help address some of the barriers that prevent families from being active evenings and weekends. The “Active Kids” messages that children experience during the day at a Childcare Centre or school will be reinforced at home through a family’s use of an Activity Pack. The Active Kids Family Activity Packs are appropriate for outdoor as well as indoor play in any season! The materials are safe, high quality, easy to clean and most of all fun to use! The materials supplied in the backpacks are suitable for a moderate sized family, but can be adapted for smaller or bigger families. Parents who borrow an Activity Pack can sign up for the Active Kids Newsletter by email.

Program Approximate Cost: 

Free for all licensed daycares in NB, Free for all families who access workshops facilitated by NB F

Funding Sources: 

Department of Social Development and the Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport.
Community Organizations can potentially access outside funds such as the provincial Active Communities Grant (GNB/WCS). The NBAFRC recently received an IWK Grant to purch

Strategies For Sustainability: 

Active Kids Toolkit is supported by an array of key partnerships with many different organizations that work with Early Childhood and beyond. We constantly improve our programs and develop new strategies, such as adding supports relative to children with special needs and a variety of cultures to our already successful programs in order to better support the work our partners do with children and families in New Brunswick.

Impact Of Program: 

We have trained over 200 hundred licensed daycares and have reached thousands of homes in our province, with the help of our amazing partners such as the Family Resource Centres of NB (there are 13 of these Centers in NB and we give a total of 600 small toolkits a year to offer parent workshops to the families in their respective regions, those small toolkits are valued at around $125 each), plus the Early Interventionists offer our program directly in the homes of their clients in NB. There are 16 Early Intervention Centres throughout the province.

Evaluation Tools: 

Evaluation data is collected in an ongoing manner relative to all of our workshops and programs.

Key Elements Towards Success: 

This program is supported by a required curriculum for daycares as well as the Department of Social Development and the Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport. The workshop and toolkit (physical activity equipment) are provided to our key stakeholders free of charge. We have also trained people in different sectors, such as nurses who offer programs in their Health Centres and Libraries who offer Active Kids through their existing programs. We have trained Physical Therapists, Paediatrics Coordinators in Health Networks, NB Community College teachers (Early Childhood Education Program teachers in the NB Community Colleges offer our Active Kids Toolkit Program to their students). We work hard to engage key partners and respond to their needs – truly the recipe for our success. We have also trained staff who work for the Yukon Rec. Departments, and many other out-of-province organizations.

Challenges To Meet Them: 

Coordination of the partnerships, trying to stretch the budget to fit the growing demands, coming up with new ideas to better suit the needs of the families residing in New Brunswick.

Length and Stage of Project: 

This project began in 2005.

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