Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre

Inspiring & Promoting Excellence in Child Care & Early Learning


VSB Early Learning Conference

The title of this year's VSB Early Learning Conference was 'Uncovering Joy & Hope' and the presenters were Monique Gray Smith and Christina Pickles. Our Child Care & Parent Services Consultants Christine and Siranoush share some ideas and resources that were presented in the workshops they attended.

Monique Gray Smith: Love Is Medicine

"Monique taught us that when the body is moving it releases Serotonin and creates a calm, relaxed feeling. This highlights the importance of taking children outside to move their bodies and play. She also talked about the importance of holding children when reading books and taking the space to share books without any interruptions. Of course, you should only hold a child when you know the child and if the child feels comfortable. It is always important to respect younger children and teenagers' personal space."

Monique Gray Smith is a children's author. You can find a list of her books on her website.

Book readings for children:

Christina Pickles: Outdoor Play & Learning

Christina Pickles has been an environmental educator since 1998 and the author of the book ‘Active For Life’.

Christina's session explored how outdoor play supports child development in the early years. She talked about trailblazing environmental educator David Sobel and his book Childhood and Nature.

Christina shared some resources to support open-ended outdoor play in child care settings:

Loose Parts: Get Outside and Play!

Create a Teaching Garden with David Sobel’s 7 Design Principles for Children and Nature.