The first three years is the most critical time in a child’s cognitive and emotional development. During these years, a child’s brain grows at a faster rate than at any other period in life, making it an important time to support parents and teach them skills that will help them get their child off to a good start.
Make the Connection, a program designed by The Psychology Foundation of Canada, is an 8 week activity-based program that helps parents to foster a secure, nurturing relationship with their baby. Each session incorporates hands-on parent-baby activities, reflections and discussions to help parents reflect on key components of secure attachment. This secure beginning sets in motion a positive course for a child’s social and emotional well-being, learning in school and contribution to society.
The Make the Connection program gives parents the tools to support emotional growth and healthy caregiver-child relationships. Throughout the Make the Connection (MTC) program, caregivers participate in activities with their baby and are encouraged to:
§ Respond to their infants feelings and needs
§ Communicate and talking with their infant
§ Facilitate their infant’s learning through play
Make the Connection is a program that will be useful to any caregiver of children under the age of 3. Make the Connection will help caregivers to discover and practice ways to connect emotionally and communicate with their child and feel more confident and supported in their parenting role. This will help ensure that their child develops a secure attachment to their caregiver(s), develop a strong foundation for language and feels confident to learn and explore their world.
In December 2018 three members of the North Hastings Children’s Services EarlyON Team, Lisa Hess, Nicole Beaudin and Christine Luckasavitch, were trained as facilitators of the Make the Connection program. They have been trained to facilitate programs focussed on what infants (aged birth to 1) need for a good start, including traditional customs, new research on attachment, everyday activities that promote positive parent-baby relationships, as well as what toddlers (aged 1-3) need to maintain their attachment while they strive for independence, attachment activities for parents and toddlers and how your relationship with parents helps their relationship with the baby.
North Hastings Children’s Services will be hosting an 8 week free Make the Connection program for parents of children age 0-1 beginning February 6, 2019. This program runs from 1 to 3pm every Wednesday afternoon for 8 weeks. For more information or to register, please contact Nicole Beaudin, Bancroft EarlyON Coordinator, at email@example.com or Christine Luckasavitch, Algonquin Inòdewiziwin EarlyON Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling North Hastings Children’s Services at 613-332-0179. A Make the Connection program for children aged 1-3 will be offered in the near future.
Submitted by Christine Luckasavitch, Algonquin Inodewiziwin EarlyON Coordinator