What is Aboriginal Supported Child Development?
Purpose To enable children who require extra supports to be included in child care settings, preschool, before/after school and community care settings. Such inclusion nurtures a child’s self-esteem, identity, and allows the children to participate in settings that will support their development along with their peers. Having a child care setting where children can get the supports they need to be included, allows them to grow and learn in a safe and nurturing environment. ASCD programs are developed with cultural values, beliefs and traditions in mind.
ASCD programs are designed to ensure cultural safety and cultural sensitivity for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children and families. ASCD services are provided for children who require extra support in the following areas: physical development, cognitive development, communicative development, social/emotional development and behaviour.
The ages of the children range from birth up to age 12, and in some communities in limited capacity aged 13 to 19 years. Families can include birth, extended, adopted, and foster families. Aboriginal families can be living on or off reserve. There is no cost to the family to access ASCD, however families are responsible for any costs associated with the community-based program that the child attends.
Range of Services
As there are currently 50 ASCD programs across BC, each program offers a unique set of programming based on their community needs and contracts with the Ministry for Children and Families Development.
Services available to families can include:
- Assistance in finding child care
- Individual planning
- Extra staffing support if needed in childcare programs
- Training and support for families and child care providers
- Assistance accessing other community resources
- Developmental screening and assessments at the request of the family
Support may take place in a variety of setting such as:
- Preschool settings
- Aboriginal Head Start programs
- Childcare programs
- Before/after school and other community care settings