Safe Spaces teaches young children the skills they need to resist and prevent bullying. Learning empathy, emotional literacy and peaceful problem solving at a young age reduces the likelihood that bullying will occur as children become older.
Safe Spaces nurtures children’s self-esteem and teaches them to care about others. Children learn to express their emotions without hurting each other. They are encouraged to help each other, to be kind, and to use peaceful problem solving skills.
Safe Spaces establishes a bully free environment. Safe Spaces ideas can be used anywhere children are - at home, in child care, in a drop-in program, at school or in the neighbourhood.
Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre offers Safe Spaces Training for:
Early Childhood Educators and other trained practitioners who work with young children
Safe Spaces Training for Early Childhood Educators consists of 13 hours of training. We suggest that all staff in an early childhood setting attend both training sessions; however, individual practitioners can attend the training on their own and share the concepts they have learned with their programs.
Note: For those familiar with the Safe Spaces Training from previous years – there is no longer a requirement to purchase a Safe Spaces Kit. The program has been re-designed to utilize materials available in most early childhood settings, or online. In addition, the Westcoast Library carries most of the storybooks that are used with children.
Safe Spaces article excerpted from the Westcoast Post (vol 1, issue 1; PDF)
For more information on the Safe Spaces Training contact Crystal Janes by email or phone 604-709-5661 local 233, toll free 1-877-262-0022.
What child care providers say about Safe Spaces
“Hitting has stopped in our program. Children are using the Safe Spaces language to tell their peers what is and is not safe.”
“We see more friendships developing and more positive interactions and inclusion of others. We’re losing the ‘I don’t want to be your friend’ attitude.”
What parents say about Safe Spaces
“When we played in the playground one day, a big kid was pushing a smaller one. My son came up to him, facing the other guy who was taller than him, and said ‘Stop! Stop it! Don’t do that! That’s not right!’ Before Safe Spaces, he would only come to me and say: ‘what’s he doing?’ or ‘why is he doing that?’”
What the Research Says
“Early intervention should not wait until the start of school. School communities must reach out to families even before kindergarten. Children with poor social and behavioural skill can be identified as early as three years of age, and the earlier these children and families receive intervention, the more successful these efforts will be.”
Dwyer, Osher and Hoffman, 2000.