Brain Story Theory-to-Practice

After completing the Brain Story Certification, ECEs can register to participate in sessions facilitated by 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.

Students and other individuals not currently working at licensed child care programs are welcome to join but will not have access to release time funding.

The Theory-to-Practice Series for Early Childhood Educators is now available featuring five sessions: 

Introduction & Brain Architecture

Building on the concepts and learnings presented in The Brain Story Certification course, ECEs will recognize the great opportunity they have in helping children build strong brain architecture in the early years, creating a solid foundation for children's learning, behaviour, and health. In this session, ECEs will play the Brain Architecture Game, an engaging group activity that fosters an understanding of the important relationship between brain development and early childhood experiences. 

Serve and Return & Temperament

Serve and return interactions between children and ECEs help build strong neural connections in the developing brain. In this session, through fun interactive activities, ECEs will apply their understanding of responsive relationships, positive interactions, and temperament to identify ways of integrating their insights into daily practice, specifically their interactions with young children. 

Executive Function

Executive function skills are mental processes which relate to attention, regulation, and memory processing. In this session, ECEs will understand their role in scaffolding executive function skills. They will also discuss and engage in playful activities which can be implemented into their curriculum planning to create opportunities for young children to develop and practice these skills through meaningful social interactions. 

Stress & Ways to Cope

Throughout life, humans experience an array of stressful situations that contribute to their overall health and wellbeing. Stress can either strengthen or weaken brain architecture. In this session, ECEs will learn more about the different types of stress (positive, tolerable and toxic) and stress responses. They will explore and integrate ways to cope with stress and how to support responsive environments for young children helping them to develop self-regulation skills.

Resilience, Relationships & Play

Building on the concept of the interactive resilience scale from The Brain Story Certification course, ECEs will recognize their significant role in children’s resilience and helping them face challenges. In this final session, ECEs will appreciate how play is foundational to children's learning and resilience. ECEs will also reflect on the importance of responsive relationships, positive experiences, and protective factors that support children and their families. 

Registration is dependent on availability and will close for a series once the maximum number of participants has been reached. As session dates are confirmed, they will be added to this page, please check back regularly.

Upcoming series:

Series 1 - FULL

This series' registration will close once 25 registrations have been received or by November 23, 2022, whichever comes earlier.

Wednesday December 7th, 2022, 6:00pm – 9:15pm (15 min break)
Introduction & Brain Architecture - 3 hours 
 
Wednesday December 14th, 2022, 6:00pm – 9:15pm (15 min break)
Serve and Return & Temperament - 1 ½ hours 
Executive Function - 1 ½ hours
 
Wednesday December 21st, 2022, 6:00pm-9:15pm (15 min break)
Stress & Ways to Cope – 2 hours 
Resilience, Relationships & Play – 1 hour


Please see our FAQ below to answer any questions you may have on the Theory-to-Practice sessions.

Please register below for available series.

Registrant
The materials you will need for the series will be sent here.
Registration is dependent on availability and will close for a series once the maximum number of participants has been reached.
Licensed Child Care Program
If you do not work for or are not licensed by a child care program, please contact us to be put on the waitlist to join a series.

Brain Story Theory-to-Practice FAQ

For all other inquiries please contact us via email at brainstory@aecea.ca. AECEA staff will do their best to respond as soon as possible.

Do I have to take the Brain Story 20-hour certification course before the Theory-to-Practice portion?

Yes, you must show proof of the Brain Story Certification before registering for the Theory-to-Practice sessions. 

Is there an option to take the Theory-to-Practice sessions in-person?

Yes. Theory-to-Practice sessions are offered both virtually through zoom and can be scheduled in-person. However, at this time, in-person sessions must have a minimum of 12 participants in the same region. Because of this requirement, AECEA will continue to gauge interest for an in-person session based on the region and schedule accordingly only when a certain number is reached. All pre-scheduled Theory-to-Practice series (online and in-person options) are located here

I am supervisor/director of a licensed early learning facility and want my staff to complete the Theory-to-Practice sessions– what are my next steps?

If a licensed and approved facility wants to plan an in-person or virtual PD-Day session around the Theory-to-Practice training, supervisors/directors will need to contact us at brainstory@aecea.ca. The program coordinator will then reach out to you regarding next steps. It is important to note that trainings need a minimum number of ECE’s present to schedule a series: 12+ for an in-person series and 8+ for virtual. All ECE’s who participate must show proof of the Brain Story Course certificate of completion. 

I have successfully registered for the Theory-to-Practice sessions – now what?

After you have registered for your section, either online or in-person, you will receive a package in the mail prior to your session start date. Your facilitator will then send an introduction email one week prior to the start date outlining next steps. If your sessions are online, the email will include a link to your zoom session and information on how to sign-up for the Brain Architecture online game. If your session is in-person, details on the location of the session will be emailed once the site is confirmed. 

What if I miss a session for the Theory-to-Practice portion?

To receive a certificate of completion you must be present for all 5 consecutive sessions in the Theory-to-Practice portion. Facilitators will take attendance during each session. Thus, AECEA encourages ECEs to register in a section that best fits their needs and availability. If you miss a session, please contact our program coordinator at brainstory@aecea.ca, however, you may have to re-register in a different section at a later date.  

Do I have to take the Theory-to-Practice sessions in order?

Yes, to successfully complete this certification you must complete the sessions in order and as they appear on registration. Each session is designed to build on discussions, experiences and learning from the previous session. 

I have not received my package in the mail yet – what should I do?

If you have not received your package within 3 days of your start date, please contact us via email at brainstory@aecea.ca. To reduce the number of emails, only reach-out if you have not received your package within the defined timeframe. 

I have not received an email from my facilitator for next steps after registration – what should I do?

Please note that your facilitator will only send an email approximately one week prior to your session start date. If you have still not received an email within 3 days of your start date, please email us at brainstory@aecea.ca. To reduce the number of emails, only reach-out if you have not received communication within the defined timeframe.

How do I sign up for the brain architecture online game?

If you are registered for a virtual section (this does not apply to those in-person sessions) you will receive an email from your facilitator one-week prior to your start date. In this email your facilitator will provide you with a link and directions on how to set-up an account. This account must be set-up prior to your start date. 

I have completed all 5 sessions of Theory-to-Practice, when will I receive my certificate of completion?

AECEA will review participant attendance and once you have completed all 5 sessions, you should receive a link to access your certificate within 6-8 weeks. If you have not received this link for the certificate within 8-10 weeks of completing your last Theory-to-Practice session, contact AECEA at brainstory@aecea.ca.

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