Working with Newcomer Families

Supporting Children in Developing Healthy Racial Identity
2023 Conference Session Length: 1 hour, 57 min
Publish Date: April 2023

One of the most important gifts we can offer a child is the knowledge that they are beautiful and unique as they are. We want children to know that they’re not only allowed–but are encouraged and supported–to delight in the heritages and cultures that make them who they are. In part 1 and part 2 of this session, we explore how together, we can help them grow up with a deep sense of pride for the stories, languages, traditions, and teachings of each culture that has shaped them. A child who revels in their identity is free to thrive and become all that they are meant to be. Together we can help create that for this next generation.


Opening the Culture Door
2023 Conference Session Length: 1 hour, 40 min
Publish Date: April 2023

Everyone has a culture and our culture is the framework for our lives. Children naturally develop the characteristics that their own culture values. They begin to construct their identity and understand who they are by understanding their own culture and by responding to how others see and relate to them. Sometimes a cultural conflict, visible or invisible, contributes to challenging behavior. This session explores how understanding the impact of cultural influences on both the educator and the child can improve a teacher’s ability to prevent and respond to challenging behavior.

Activities that Encourage Program and Family Connections
2023 Conference Session Length: 55 minutes
Publish Date: June 2023

Creating opportunities and experiences that bring program staff and families together is very important. Discover how to create a welcoming, nurturing environment. In this session, you’ll learn how to host family fun events, brainstorm interactive documentation opportunities, and celebrate daily activities with open consistent communication.



Family Centred Practice
2023 Conference Session Length: 56 minutes
Publish Date: April 2023

Family Centered Practice (FCP) creates partnership with families, treats them with dignity and respect, honors their values and choices, and provides supports to enhance their functioning as a family. In this session, we explore: FCP, contemporary approaches to working with families, relational and participatory components, collaboration, the role of the parent, effective help-giving, and how FCP can be linked to a wide range of benefits for both children and families.


Reflecting on Anti-bias Education in Action: The Early Years
Webinar length: 2 hours
Publish Date: November 2021

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. 


Consistent Care and Relationship Building in CNC
Tutorial length: 10 minutes
Publish Date: February 2020

The evidence is clear: successful attachments with primary caregivers in the early years have a profound impact on children in almost all areas of development! In fact, a child’s growth and development depends on the capacity of their caregivers to understand, perceive and respond to the child needs. So developing relationships and trust with the newcomer children in your care is key to supporting their settlement and early development. In CMAS’ new Consistent Care and Relationship Building in CNC tutorial, you’ll have an opportunity to consider how relationships impact children’s development and health, what is consistent care and why it is so important, which children might need a little more attention and care, and strategies for improving consistency and relationships for everyone. 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. English version | French version


Parent Orientations Webinar
webinar length: 56 minutes
Publish Date: January 2020

A good parent orientation sets the stage for a smooth transition for newcomer families, but not every CNC team knows how to do it well. In this webinar, you have the opportunity to hear directly from three experienced CNC administrators. They share their unique perspectives, promising practices and strategies that they find helpful when it comes to CNC parent orientations. In response to participant requests, Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services has also shared their Sample Visual Parent Orientation Form. Once you have completed this webinar, we invite you to complete this evaluation, which will help with the development of future webinars. Watch the webinar…

Understanding Child Abuse and Your Duty to Report
e-course length: 62 minutes
Publish Date: January 2020

Canada takes the protection of children very seriously. Each year thousands of children are subjected to abuse while in the care of their families. All of us who work with families need to understand our duty to report and role in protecting children. This includes knowing how to identify different types and indicators of abuse, cultural considerations, and steps to report and document suspected abuse–as well as strategies to support staff, parents, and children after a report has been made. Understanding Child Abuse and Your Duty to Report includes resources, helpful contact information, and links to legislation, as well as questions for reflection and/or discussion. English Version | French Version


Stages & Strategies for Language Learning in Newcomer Children
Tutorial length: 13 minutes
Publish Date: October 2019

Learning a language is a complex process that is experienced differently by every child. But whether you’re supporting dual language learners, single, second or even multiple language learners in your program, it’s important to have a basic understanding of how language learning happens. In the Stages & Strategies for Language Learning in Newcomer Children tutorial, you’ll learn about the four stages of language learning and what to expect as children move through each phase. You’ll also find practical strategies that you can use to support children during each stage. At the end of the tutorial, there are resources, references, a facilitator guide and added group discussion questions so that you can easily facilitate your own team training.


10 Simple Ways to Encourage Language in Newcomer Children
Tutorial length: 15 minutes
Publish Date: September 2019

Young children are naturally visual learners as they observe, imitate and learn to read body language. For newcomer children, visual cues can be even more important – especially when you don’t have a shared language!

How you integrate and support language learning in your program can make all the difference to how children embrace the process. It can also impact how families view the learning of English, and how they appreciate and see the importance of maintaining their home language.
In this tutorial, we’ll look at 10 Simple Ways to Encourage Language in Newcomer Children – and hopefully remind you of all the powerful little things you do each day to support language and learning in your program!



5 Guiding Principles for the Care of Newcomer Children
Tutorial length: 30 minutes
Publish Date: June 2018

Working with young newcomers is challenging and important work. Not only can the children be vulnerable because of the stress they often experience while adapting to a new language and culture, but they can also be feeling the effects of the stress being experienced by their parents as the entire family adjusts to life in a new country! The guiding principles outlined in this tutorial provide a framework of program expectations and set the stage for flexible early childhood programs that are sensitive, responsive and inclusive. Begin the tutorial…

Understanding Children’s Settlement: The Basics
Tutorial length: 15 minutes
Publish Date: March 2018

International research shows that young immigrant and refugee children experience settlement needs in five key areas. To build responsive programs for newcomer children, CNC staff need to understand these unique needs and how they can help. Understanding Children’s Settlement: The Basics is a 15-minute tutorial that describes each settlement need and strategies you can use in your program. It will also give you tips on how you can tell if a child is settling successfully! At the end of the tutorial, you’ll also find suggested resources, a facilitator guide and added group discussion questions so that you can easily facilitate your own team training. English version  | French version


10 Tips for Difficult Conversations with Parents: The Basics
Tutorial length: 19 minutes
Publish Date: November 2017

Sometimes, we need to have difficult conversations with parents about their child’s development, challenges or needs. Planning for these interactions can be stressful, but this 19-minute tutorial provides you with tools and strategies, common mistakes to avoid, and 10 tips for planning ahead and managing difficult conversations in an approachable and professional way. It also includes a facilitator guide and 10 questions for group discussion and personal reflection to use with your team, extend your learning and help you identify concrete strategies that you can use in your program. Let’s get started!


Separation Anxiety and Culture Shock
e-course length: 68 minutes
Publish Date: November 2012*

*Note that a newer resource (November 2017) on this topic– A Parent’s Guide to Gradual Separation – is also available in over 40 languages.

The Separation Anxiety and Culture Shock online workshop will help you understand separation anxiety in immigrant and refugee families and the impact of culture shock on the separation process.

The course offers strategies to help you manage separations, as well as parent expectations. From creating a sample separation plan to navigating your way through a gradual separation scenario, you will put these strategies into practice.

By the end of this workshop, you should feel confident in your ability to smoothly and professionally support newcomer children and parents through the separation process. Download PDF | Go to Course


Working with Newcomer Families
e-course length: 69 minutes
Publish Date: September 2012

The Working with Newcomer Families online workshop gives you the knowledge and tools to collaborate with and gain the trust of the families of the children in your care.

The course covers both the theory and practice behind topics that include family and child-centred care, diversity and bias, cross cultural child-rearing practices and communication, and building trusting relationships.

By the end of this workshop, you should feel confident in your ability to create positive, professional and trusting relationships with immigrant and refugee families that are based on mutual respect and recognition of the value of diversity. Download PDF | Go to Course