The DAC Post, Summer 2016
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The DAC Post, Summer 2016

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Ontario Provides More Supports for Children with Autism

Ontario is providing more support for children and youth with autism. The new program:

  • provides more flexible services
  • reduces wait times for service
  • increases the number of treatment spaces

Additional supports include:

  • a choice of direct funding or if preferred, immediate and continuous access to Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) services and supports, for children five and over who were previously on the Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) waitlist
  • strengthened in-school autism supports to help children transition to and continue in full-time school
  • increased access to diagnostic assessments to allow for earlier diagnosis and treatment
  • greater access to information and direct supports for families to help them navigate the transition to the new program
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Canadian Paediatric Society Releases Report on Canadian Public Policy and Child and Youth Health

The fifth edition, biennial status report Are We Doing Enough?:

  • evaluates public policies affecting children and youth in Canada
  • charts how well provincial/territorial and federal governments use legislative powers to promote health and safety issues affecting young people
  • introduces new indicators and updates progress on critical fronts reviewed in 2012
  • helps governments, and health care providers working with them, to improve and advance their public agendas in four key areas based on specific needs and best evidence

Read the full report

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Update on Main Activities
Early Development Instrument (EDI)

A presentation of high-level summary results of the Toronto 2014-2015 EDI data is available based on a summary report by the Offord Centre for Child Studies. In anticipation of EDI knowledge mobilization, the DACs are creating a series of nine social risk indicator (SRI) infographics that compare Toronto's results with national averages.

EYSIS Custom Queries

New custom queries are available to run reports through EYSIS that distinguish between child and adult participants. One looks broadly at the number of program participants by month while the other determines the number of direct service hours grouped by program. 

Well-Being Toronto

Parenting and Family Literacy Centre (PFLC) sites were imported into the Wellbeing Toronto mapping website two years ago, as initiated by the Toronto Region DACs. The same was done for Ontario Early Years Centre (OEYC) sites as well as EDI data. Recently, a school board asked for a refresher on using this online resource of PFLCs. DACs provided support on how to access and navigate the website.

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Evidence of Associations between Early Mother-Infant Interactions and Brain Development

A large body of research shows the impact of negative early experiences on brain development, but there has been little evidence showing that normative variations in parenting also have an effect. In a recent U.S. study, researchers investigated possible links between the quality of mother-infant interaction and infant brain development in a sample of typically developing children.

Study Sample

The study sample consisted of:

  • 352 mother-infant dyads (185 girls)
  • infants participated longitudinally (5, 10 and 24 months of age)
  • mother-infant interaction was assessed when infants were 5 months
  • children's resting electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded at 5, 10 and 24 months
  • EEG measures brain activity and EEG power is a measure of brain development
  • more neural activity means higher EEG power
Study Results
  • mothers who interacted with their 5-month-old infants in a style characterized by more positive affect and less physical stimulation had infants whose frontal resting EEG power was higher at 10 and 24 months
  • infants showed more rapid increases in EEG power between 5 and 10 months and between 10 and 24 months
  • the findings provide preliminary evidence that the quality of mother-infant interactions may contribute to brain development in typically developing infants

Bernier, A, Calkins, S. D., & Bell, M. A. (2016). Longitudinal associations between the quality of mother-infant interactions and brain development across infancy. Child Development, 87, 1159-1174.

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EYSIS - Reporting Protocols/Official Linkages

In response to recent queries, we are clarifying how to count protocols/official linkages for data element reports:

The Service Data Elements Dictionary defines ‘Number of protocols/official linkages' as the total number of protocols or official linkages that have been established with external agencies providing early years services.

  • each protocol/linkage is counted only once in the budget year
  • protocols and official linkages refer to agencies with which the OEYC or CCRC (Child Care Resource Centre) has a written agreement (e.g., Memorandum of Understanding or Purchase of Service Agreement) to provide services
  • planning-related linkages are not counted under this data element
  • OEYCs and CCRCs may include multiple protocols and/or official linkages with some agencies when a protocol is specific to a program and is negotiated independently from others developed with the partnering agency
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EYSIS Support, April - June 2016

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Training Oppurtunities
Monday, August 15
  • 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    2A: Family and Person Registration
    This course teaches users how to register and edit client information records.
  • 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    2B: Programs and Events
    This course provides instruction on how to enter client participation and event details in programs and events.
Tuesday, August 16
  • 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    2C: Generating Reports
    This course teaches users how to generate reports for program and resource tracking.
  • 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    3A: Data Cleaning
    This course provides instruction on data cleaning and best practices in data entry.
    Prerequisites: 2A and 2B
Wednesday, August 17
  • 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    2D: Resource Library
    This course allows participants to learn how to use the resource library.
    Prerequisites: 2A and 2B

Registration is first come, first served, so sign up early! Sessions are held at Mothercraft College, 646 St. Clair Avenue West

Fees
  • DACs and Toronto OEYCs - free!
  • Non-Toronto OEYCs - $25 per person per course (full refund if 2 business days' notice of cancellation is provided) 
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DACs Out and About
EDI Summary Results Presentations

The DACs will be delivering a  summary presentation of the Toronto 2014-2015 EDI data to community partners and hosting two webinars on October 12 and October 13 from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. To register for either date, please email Andy Mong. The presentation includes descriptive information, discussion of contextual variables, group comparisons and information on sub-domains. This information will be presented for Toronto Region as a whole.

EYSIS Set-Up

One of our OEYCs recently asked for assistance in setting up EYSIS for access at one of their satellite sites. The program for which information was tracked, was held on weekends away from their usual location, so a connection to their main site was configured for real-time data entry of participants.

Community Data Program (CDP) Webinar

The CDP is a Canadian Council on Social Development pan-Canadian data consortium. The DACs attended a CDP-hosted Canada Roundtable presentation by Statistics Canada on updates to the Census 2016. Topics included restoration of the mandatory long-form, communication strategies to encourage participation, timeframe of data release and modes of data dissemination. The DACs also attended training on using the CDP catalogue, including how to download and use data sets.

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