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Foundational Research

Science and research from across fields of study have confirmed the critical nature of the early years of a child’s life, having lifelong impacts on learning, behavior and health, both physical and mental. The Core Story of Brain development clearyl articulates the impacts of early relationships, interactions and environment on the developing brain. The role of parents, caregivers, other caring adults and the broader community in helping children to reach their potential is undeniable, with links between positive engagement and supportive networks and healthy development and positive learning outcomes for children also well established. Café’s work is focused on supporting this influential role and the growing rationale for adopting a strength-based, community orientation for building supportive, healthy environments for children. (see foundational research links below and Café’s framework).

With access to developments in research along with knowledge of best practise, we as parents, caregivers, educators and the broader community can make informed choices about the day to day interactions with our children to best support healthy development and learning. The following organizations offer a consolidation of quality research and resources in the key areas. For access to the most current and emerging research check out their Twitter accounts. Cafe offers a consolidation of some foundational articles informing our work in our Resource Library .

Communities and early childhood development

  • First 2000 Days Early Childhood Development Network
  • Alberta Family Wellness Initiative
  • Centre on the Developing Child: Harvard University
  • Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research 

Communities and literacy and learning

  • Calgary Reads
  • Harvard Family Research Project
  • Centre on School, Family, Community Partnerships

The Power of Conversation

  • Tamarack – An Institute for Community Engagement
  • The World Cafe
  • Appreciative Inquiry Commons, Case Western Reserve University

Asset-based community development

  • The Asset-Based Community Development Institute
  • Coady International Institute
  • Tamarack – An Institute for Community Engagement