KidsFirst (Early childhood intervention in the community…Makes sense but does it really work?)

Last Updated: December 6, 2013

Nazeem Muhajarine, PhD (Co-Investigator)
Bonnie Jeffery, PhD (Co-Investigator)
Tom McIntosh, PhD (Co-Investigator)

KidsFirst is a federally funded, provincially run intervention program launched in 2002 that provides support and services to vulnerable families with young children (aged 0-5) in Saskatchewan. It is offered in nine areas of the province that were identified as having high levels of need. The SPHERU research team conducted an in-depth three-year evaluation in partnership with the Saskatchewan government, which was completed in mid-2010.

Goals / Outcomes: The team focused on developing a provincial evaluation framework to guide the evaluation and conducted a detailed assessment the program, including its short‐term impact on families and child health and development.

Ultimately, through this research SPHERU hopes to inform emerging knowledge on promising or best practices in early childhood intervention in Canada. Such information is essential for developing more effective policy interventions to reduce maternal and child health disparities.

The evaluation process produced a number of reports, including an overview, qualitative review, quantitative review, literature review and the evaluation framework, among others. Knowledge translation work has included a series of fact sheets and an introductory video about the project. All of these are available on the kidSKAN website.

Funder: Canadian Institute for Health Information, Saskatchewan Ministry of Education (Qualitative Review), MITACS, the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine, Canadian Institute for Health Information (Knowledge Transfer & Exchange)

Other KidsFirst Investigators: Angela Bowen, Jody Glacken, Kathryn Green, David Rosenbluth and post-doctoral fellow Hongxia Shan

Research Staff: Darren Nickel, Fleur Macqueen Smith, Robert Nesdole, Kristjana Loptson, Shainur Premji, Hayley Turnbull, Taban Leggett, Julia Hardy and Kathleen McMullin