Brain Story Theory-to-Practice Bundle

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. 

After completing both the Brain Story Certification and a Theory-to-Practice series, eligible ECEs will be reimbursed for 30 hours* of learning time. For the 30 hours of time spent completing the Brain Story Certification and Theory-to-Practice, ECEs can expect to receive $17.50/hour ($525.00) in reimbursement through their employer/agency. Programs can expect $1.33/hour ($39.90) to offset wage-related expenses for the ECE. Completion of both Brain Story Certification and Theory-to-Practice is required to receive funding. Funding is no longer available for only completing the Brain Story Certification. 
*If an ECE has already received reimbursement funding in 2022-2024 for completing the Brain Story Certification or if they completed the Brain Story certificate before February 25, 2022, they will only receive funding for the Theory-to-Practice portion (10 hours).

NOTE: This reimbursement is NOT LINKED to the Release Time Grant offered by the Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Program. The 30 hours DO NOT count towards the hours of the Release Time Funding grant, and reimbursement will come from AECEA, not from the Alberta Child Care Grant Funding Program.

ECEs will be able to:

  • appreciate the role they have in 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. 

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

In order to show in the form below, programs will need to complete an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) form to receive the funds. The form along with instructions on where to send it can be found here. AECEA is unable to provide funding directly to ECEs, funds MUST go through the agency or employer.

This reimbursement is available to both AECEA members and non-members. 

The Theory-to-Practice Series for ECEs 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.

If you would like to share your preferences (locations, times) to help us schedule future Theory-to-Practice Series, click here.

Upcoming series:

SERIES 41 - July 26th & 27th (Friday Evening & Saturday) - FULL

This series' registration will close once 30 registrations have been received or by July 14th, 2024, whichever comes earlier.

This series will be held virtually.

Friday, July 26th, 2024, 6:00pm – 9:15pm (15 min break)
Introduction & Brain Architecture - 3 hours 

Saturday, July 27th, 2024, 9:00am – 4:00pm (1 hour total in breaks)
Serve and Return & Temperament - 1 ½ hours 
Executive Function - 1 ½ hours
Stress & Ways to Cope – 2 hours 
Resilience, Relationships & Play – 1 hour

 

Please see our FAQ below the form to answer any questions you may have on this funding. If you cannot find an answer to your question in the FAQ section below, please get in touch with us at brainstory@aecea.ca.

  • Current Applicant
  • Brain Story Reflection
  • Declaration
  • Preview
  • Complete
Child Care Organization
Only organizations that have submitted their EFT form are listed. If you cannot find your program in this list, please email us at brainstory@aecea.ca.
If this is not correct, please contact us.
ECE Applicant
If you achieved your certification by completing an early learning and child care post-secondary certificate, diploma, or degree, please select education. If you achieved your certification by any other method, such as what can be found in Appendix B in the certification guide for early childhood educators, please select equivalency.
This will be confirmed with AECEA's records, you can only receive funding for completing the Brain Story certification once.
Registration
If there is no options to select in this field it means all series are full. Keep an eye on our website/social media for new series to be announced.

Registration is dependent on availability and will close for a series once the maximum number of participants has been reached. Due to limited registration, please ensure you only enrol in a series that you can make every date and time. Please only register for ONE series. Doing otherwise may take a spot away from an ECE who can attend all sessions. Release time funding will only be granted to those who attend every session of their series and complete all the required evaluations.

I understand that if I miss a session or am more than 15 minutes late, I will not receive a certificate of completion or reimbursement.

I agree to participate in discussions and interactive activities done in small groups and pairs during sessions. This will require a willingness to share with fellow educators and facilitators. If online, you will need access to a computer, webcam, earphones, and microphone. I understand that this participation is mandatory to receive funding.

Mailing Address
The materials you will need for the series will be sent here. Please ensure the address submitted is correct and is a valid physical mailing address.  It is your responsibility to ensure the information is correct as only one package will be sent out due to limited materials. 

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.

Is this reimbursement linked to the Release Time Grant offered by the Child Care Grant Funding Program?

No, this reimbursement is NOT LINKED to the Release Time Grant offered by the Child Care Grant Funding Program. The hours DO NOT count towards the hours of the Release Time Funding grant, and reimbursement will come from AECEA, not from the Child Care Grant Funding Program.

How do I get reimbursed for the 20-hour Brain Story Certification course?

If you have successfully completed the Brain Story Certification course after February 25th, 2022, you can register to participate in the Theory-to-Practice series here. Once you have completed all 5 sessions of the Theory-to-Practice sessions, AECEA will review your application. When approved, AECEA will send this reimbursement to your program who will then distribute the funds to you.

Note, eligibility requires that ECEs must be employed or approved by a licensed child care program as funding will be released to the program (similar to how the Child Care Grant Funding Program processes the release time funding grant). 

Is the Brain Story and Theory-to-Practice reimbursement taxable income?

Yes, the reimbursement you receive for completing the Brain Story course and Theory-to-Practice Series ($17.50 x 30 hours) is taxable income as it is considered wages. AECEA sends the funds to your employer/agency, and they will disperse the funds to you. 

I took the Brain Story Certification course a while ago and want to refresh my knowledge of this before participating in the Theory-to-Practice sessions; how do I access these modules?

All individuals who have previously completed the Brain Story Certification course can go back to the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative website and log in to review the content. If you do not have this login information, please contact the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative directly to regain access. 

I took the Core Story of Brain Development – is this the same as the Brain Story Certification course?

The Core Story of Brain Development was the course previously offered by the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative. Now the course is called the Brain Story Certification course. We cannot accept the certification for the Brain Story Certification funding portion but can for the Theory-to-Practice funding portion of the reimbursement application.

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

Yes, you must show proof of the Brain Story Certification before registering for the Theory-to-Practice Series. In order to receive funding for both, you will need to have completed Brain Story and attended every Theory-to-Practice session and completed your final evaluation within 30 days of the last session.

I’ve already received funding for Theory-to-Practice but not for Brain Story, can I still apply?

Unfortunately, due to budget constraints, Brain Story is a prerequisite for Theory-to-Practice funding, and we are unable to offer reimbursement solely for Brain Story.

Why isn’t my program/agency’s name showing up on the application form?

Programs/agencies that have not submitted their Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) enrollment form, including a void cheque, will not appear in the drop-down menu of available organizations. If that is the case, please have your employer or agency complete and submit this form. We encourage you to also speak to your employer/agency about this so they are aware you want to receive funding for this. Once we have received your program’s EFT, you will be able to select it on the registration page.

My program/agency does not want to fill out an EFT form, can a cheque be mailed/is there any other option available?

Unfortunately, we will no longer provide cheques to new organizations, so if your employer/agency refuses to send an EFT form then you will be unable to access the funding. 

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

Yes. The Theory-to-Practice Series is offered both virtually through Zoom and 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 child care program 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 ECEs present to schedule a series: 12+ for an in-person series and 8+ for a virtual one. All ECEs who participate must show proof of the Brain Story Course certificate of completion. 

My registration for the Theory-to-Practice Series was denied – why?

There are a few reasons why your registration may have been denied, such as:

1) If you have already participated in or registered for another Theory-to-Practice series.

2) If you did not upload your Brain Story certificate of completion that shows a date of completion anytime after February 25, 2022. If you have completed this certification before February 25, 2022, you are not eligible to receive funding.

3) If you do not hold an ECE certificate (Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3) or are not employed or approved by a licensed child care program.

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

After you have registered for a Theory-to-Practice Series, either online or in-person, your facilitator will send an introduction email one week prior to the start date outlining the 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.

You will also receive a package in the mail at least 3 days prior to your session start date. If you have not received your package, 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 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 send an email approximately one week prior to your session start date. If you have 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.

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

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 series 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. 

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 will 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.

I've successfully completed the Theory-to-Practice Series and received my funding, but it doesn't match the $525 in my application.

If you have already received funding for Brain Story reimbursement in a previous application, you are not eligible for it and instead will only receive the amount of $175 upon completion of Theory-to-Practice.

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