Brain Story Certification & Theory-to-Practice Sessions For ECEs

Early childhood educators (ECEs) are essential to delivering high-quality early learning and child care. They need to be well-educated, supported, and remunerated to enable them to undertake that work. Supporting ECEs to participate in ongoing professional learning leads to improved practice and better outcomes for children and their families.

With the support of the Government of Alberta and in partnership with the Palix Foundation, the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta (AECEA) is excited to provide ECEs with an opportunity for continued professional learning on the scientific underpinnings of early brain development and the important role ECEs play in brain development in the early years. The professional learning will be free to take and ECEs will be reimbursed for their time spent learning.

Step 1 - Brain Story Certification

Complete the 20-hour Brain Story Certification. This is a free, online course offered through Alberta Family Wellness Initiative.

What You'll Learn

Lifelong health is determined by more than just our genes: experiences at sensitive periods of development change the brain in ways that increase or decrease risk for later physical and mental illness, including addiction. That finding is the premise of the Brain Story, which puts scientific concepts into a narrative that is salient to both expert and non-expert audiences. The Brain Story synthesizes decades of research and reflects a body of knowledge that experts agree is useful for policy-makers and citizens to understand.

The Alberta Family Wellness Initiative (AFWI) has developed an online course to make Brain Story science available to professionals and the public. Brain Story Certification is designed for those seeking a deeper understanding of brain development and its consequences for lifelong health. The course is also designed for professionals seeking certification in a wide range of fields.

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Step 2 - Brain Story Reimbursement

With the Brain Story certificate of completion, ECEs can apply to be reimbursed for the 20 hours of course time.

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Step 3 - Theory-to-Practice Sessions

After completing the Brain Story Certification, ECEs can register to participate in sessions facilitated by our partner organization, the Alberta Resource Centre for Quality Enhancement designed specifically for ECEs to connect the theory and ideas presented in the Brain Story to their daily practice, interactions, and relationships with children and families. Upon completing the sessions, ECEs will be reimbursed for 10 hours of time. ECEs will be able to:

  • appreciate the role they have on children’s brain development and the importance of brain development in the early years,
  • integrate their new learning into daily practice with increased knowledge, skill, and confidence in their ability to articulate and put into practice the key concepts of brain science as it relates to their daily interactions with young children, and
  • recognize alignments between concepts from the Brain Story and concepts of Flight: Alberta’s Early Learning and Care Framework and inclusive child care practices.

These sessions will be delivered in person and online and will take a variety of formats to meet the needs of ECEs across the province. Upon completion of the sessions, ECEs will be reimbursed for 10 hours of learning time.

More Information

NOTE: reimbursement will be handled similarly to the Release Time Funding grant but the 30 hours (20+10) do not count towards the hours of that grant and the reimbursement will come from AECEA, not from Children’s Services.

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