Supported Child Development returned to a ‘new normal’ this past year during the on-going COVID pandemic. Support Staff were very happy to be back in community programs, supporting the children in-person. Staff continued to demonstrate great commitment, navigating new protocols and procedures resulting from the pandemic, both in community programs and at CDC. SCD returned to in-person staff meetings in May, as we met virtually for two years. This was also a welcome return to normal, as staff missed networking and collaborating with one another in-person.
There were significant changes in staffing this year, with two long-term Support Workers retiring in October and one long-term staff leaving to explore a new role in SD#57. SCD welcomed Tyla Robertson, Lauren Cape and Chelsea Fowlie to the team as full-time employees.
SCD received additional one-time-only funding of $175, 000 from MCFD to provide service to children on our waitlist. This short-term funding was utilized from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022. We hired one temporary staff and used the remainder of the funding to provide six extra support contracts to licensed ECCL programs who hired staff to support the children while SCD Consultants provided direction and consultation.
SCD provided support to 76 children with diverse abilities in 24 Early Childhood and Learning (ECCL) programs, including preschools, daycares and after school programs from Aug 2021-Aug 2022. Demand for our services continued to increase; there are currently over 125 children waitlisted for support.
SCD staff continued to promote professional development within the ECCL field. Judy Fan, SCD Support Worker, fulfilled the role of ECCL Special Needs Practicum Supervisor for an educator in a preschool where she supported. SCD Consultants supervised a practicum placement from UVic’s Bachelor of Child and Youth Care Program.
Judy Fan, SCD Support
SCD staff continued to actively pursue professional development, with the whole department attending the Early Years Conference virtually March 1-2. This was such an amazing opportunity as EYC is typically held in Vancouver, which involves registration fees, travel and accommodation expenses. With a lot of hard work, dedication and sacrifice Candis Johnson and Julia Lamming both completed their Bachelor’s of Child and Youth Care. Christy will complete the BCYC in December 2022.