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We keep current with developments in early learning and childhood developments. Links and citations for research will be posted here.

We know the core structure of a child's brain is developed between birth and the age of five, and the experiences that occur in one's early years affect the physical architecture of the brain.  To learn more, watch the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative (AFWI) video entitled How Brains are Built, which presents the story of brain development and its impact on mental health and addiction.

We base our goals and programs on more than good intentions — we base them on facts. Edmonton Public Schools, Alberta Education and other educational institutions conduct ongoing research to ensure our programs help children succeed. Here’s what we found. 

We discovered children who use these programs:

  • develop literacy, math and learning skills more quickly;
  • learn at a level that’s appropriate for them;
  • advance socially and show positive behaviours, such as originality, independence, involvement and interaction with teachers and peers; and
  • experience fewer transitions, especially those cared for by three or more caregivers during the day. 

And while those benefits help children — which is what we’re all about — research also shows these benefits save money in the future. Successful student performance typically leads to:

  • less money spent on school resources, such as grade repetition and special education classes;
  • higher education which leads to financial success in adulthood;
  • higher lifetime incomes; and
  • reduced levels of delinquency and crime, benefiting community members and society. 

Want to learn more? You can read about all the positive program outcomes in our Edmonton Public Schools May 27, 2008 Board Report, Longitudinal Effects of Full-day Kindergarten Through to Grade 6.  Dr. Jose da Costa from the University of Alberta worked with Edmonton Public Schools to conduct the research.

Research Facts

  • Over 20 per cent of Edmonton Public School students are learning English as a second language. (Edmonton Public Schools – Current student population is 95,642)
  • About 9,500 (10%) students attending Edmonton Public schools are identified as having high social vulnerability. (Edmonton Public Schools – Current student population is 95,642 )
  • The human brain develops more rapidly between birth and age 5 than during any subsequent period; 85 per cent of the brain’s core structure is developed by age 5.  (Quality Matters in Early Childhood Education and Care – OECD)
  • Approximately 1 in 5 children in Edmonton live under the limitations of poverty. (Edmonton Social Planning Council)
  • 29 per cent of Alberta’s children arrive in Kindergarten without the strong foundation they need to be successful and are significantly behind their peers in literacy and learning skills. (Alberta Reads Network)
  • 70 per cent of mental illnesses are born in childhood and affecting almost 20 per cent of children and youth in Canada. (Canadian Mental Health Association)

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