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COMING SOON! New CMAS Webinar: School Readiness with Newcomer Centre of Peel

School readiness means that children are ready for school, and families are ready to support their children’s learning – and CNC programs play an important role in preparing newcomer children and families for this transition.

In this webinar, participants will have an opportunity to join Jacqueline MoonSammy and Aisha Ilyas, from Newcomer Centre of Peel (NCP), to talk about how they noticed a need in their CNC community, and developed a program to support school readiness for the children in their program. They’ll talk about some of the challenges they faced, as well as some helpful tips and strategies you can use in your program to help prepare children for kindergarten in the fall!

For details, watch your inbox or sign up for our monthly newsletter!

(Note that the live session is for CNC-funded programs that work with CMAS.)

NEW! CMAS Tutorial: Creativity and the Educator

When you think about the word “creativity” what comes to mind for you?

For many of us, we automatically think about a painting, drama or storytelling, or maybe a song and dance. But creative expression isn’t about the product or end result… it’s all about the creative process and journey. Whenever we use and develop our imaginations, originality, and problem-solving skills during everyday life – that’s creativity!

In this tutorial, we’ll talk about why creativity is so important in the early years. We’ll also try to get everyone thinking outside the box a little bit, by talking about creativity… and how it isn’t just about art! Then we’ll share some ideas and inspiration for encouraging and fostering creativity in our programs!

At the end of the tutorial, you’ll also find resources, references, a facilitator guide and added group discussion questions so that you can easily facilitate your own team training.  

Team training based on the Creativity and the Educator tutorial, Facilitator Guide and Questions for Personal Reflection/Group Discussion will create an opportunity for your team to:

  • collaborate and learn together
  • discuss issues that are specific to your site
  • share ideas, expertise and challenges
  • build supportive team relationships, and 
  • solve-problems

Watch your inbox for details!

CMAS Tutorial: Responding to Children’s Fear

For many of us, when a child expresses fear, it can be hard to know how to respond in a way that makes them feel heard and supported. In this tutorial, we’ll talk about how to respond to children’s fear, common mistakes, and why they’re important to avoid, and some practical tips with examples to help us understand and remember. At the end of the tutorial, you’ll also find resources, references, a facilitator guide, and added group discussion questions so that you can easily facilitate your own team training.  At the end of the tutorial, you’ll also find resources, references, a facilitator guide and added group discussion questions so that you can easily facilitate your own team training.

CMAS Webinar: Virtual Programming for Young Children

Over the last two years, many SPOs have responded to the needs of newcomer families during the pandemic by delivering online services - and the SDR from one such organization has developed a webinar to share what they’ve learned! In this webinar, join Zakia Labonee, the SDR from Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services to talk about three important things to consider in developing virtual programming for young children: child development, building relationships, and family support.

A new way to find and share CNC activity ideas…

Do you have a child who’s really interested in building with blocks? Or maybe you have a group of children who really love to dump and pour? Do you ever feel like you’ve run out of activity ideas to extend their play and learning? We gathered a team of experienced CNC staff to put their heads together and develop a collection of inspiring play extension activity ideas for CNC. Now, these programming ideas can be found at LET'S PLAY: CNC Activity Ideas

CMAS Webinar: Happiness @ Work

Did you know that 50% of our happiness is determined by our genes, 10% by our environment but that 40% is determined by our actions or attitude? The science of positive psychology or human flourishing suggests hundreds of simple interventions (e.g. like random acts of kindness; expressing gratitude) that we can apply daily to increase our happiness and well-being.

Researchers have been studying happiness in the workplace for more than 20 years and have learned that employees who have found a way to have meaning and purpose, use their strengths, are highly engaged and have good relationships with their colleagues are happiest.

In this CNC webinar, positive psychology practitioner, Patrice Palmer joins us to talk about different kinds of happiness, and concrete examples of simple things we can do each day to positively impact everyone around us!

Presenter: Patrice PalmerPatrice Palmer, M.Ed., M.A. has more than 20 years of experience as an ESL teacher and trainer in Canada and spent 7 amazing years in Hong Kong.  She has certificates in Positive Psychology and Positive Education from Wilfrid Laurier University, and now teaches in those programs.  Patrice is a Certified Mindfulness Facilitator and Registered Yoga Teacher.  She is the author of The Teacher Self-Care Manual and is a fierce advocate for student, teacher and all school staff well-being.


CMAS is proud to present this recording of a special CNC film screening and panel discussion of the award-winning film, Reflecting on Anti-bias Education in Action: The Early Years, with co-producers Debbie LeeKeenan and John Nimmo, as well as featured teacher Nadia Janobeta. The film shifts the focus away from the talking heads of experts and on to the voices of teachers committed to equity and diversity on a daily basis. By taking viewers into diverse early childhood classrooms, the film seeks to demonstrate the importance of teacher reflection on identity, context, and practice in anti-bias education and provides a much-needed resource for teacher education and professional development. 

CMAS Tutorial: Activity Planning for Mixed-Age Groups

Some CNC programs choose to use mixed-age grouping to allow for flexibility or accommodate families when there is limited space and/or staffing. But it also means that staff need to plan with a wider age group in mind… so a child-centred approach can be especially important! In this tutorial, we’ll talk about the benefits, challenges, and important considerations to keep in mind when planning activities for children of different ages.  Participants will go back to their programs feeling more confident, with new strategies and promising practice. At the end of the tutorial, you’ll also find resources, references, a facilitator guide and added group discussion questions so that you can easily facilitate your own team training.

CMAS Webinar Series: Modelling Flexible Ideas About Gender in an Early Childhood Setting

We come from different families. We come from different cultures. We grew up in different decades. We each have our own individual experiences. We probably all see and experience gender in a slightly different way. Gender “refers to the attitudes, feelings, and behaviors that a given culture associates with a person’s biological sex” (American Psychological Association).

CMAS is pleased to present an opportunity for CNC staff to learn more about Modelling Flexible Ideas About Gender in an Early Childhood Setting. This two-part webinar series will include information about gender and child development, and will centre around the ideal of creating the best possible environment for nurturing the social and emotional development of children of all genders. Watch Part 1 and  Part 2.

Note that live sessions are only open to CNC-funded programs that are working with CMAS, but the recordings will be available online for everyone this fall.

National Indigenous History Month: Honouring Lives Lost

The CMAS team would like to acknowledge and honour the 215 children whose lives were lost and remains were recently discovered at the site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School.  We offer our sincere condolences to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation in BC, as well as the families and communities across Canada who continue to suffer not only the intergenerational trauma inflicted by the residential school system, but ongoing racism and discrimination. 

As June marks National Indigenous History Month, it is especially important for the CNC community to stand with the Indigenous peoples in Canada and listen. 

It can be difficult to find our path towards reconciliation or the words to share with children and families, but it’s important to reflect on how we can talk to children and families about the events and the trauma that is resurfacing among Canada’s First Nations.

We urge all of our programs to review the teachings of Elder Brenda Mason and Lori Huston, RECE, who joined us in February to discuss the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action. This 3-part webinar series and associated articles can help support a deepening of our understanding of what it means to honour the knowledge and skills of Indigenous children and families as we reckon with the past and find our way forward.