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Evaluation of the Under One Sky Aboriginal Head Start (AHS) program

Category(s): Economy and Labour, Education and Training
Status: Active
Principal: Ted McDonald
Project Number: P0085
Year Approved: 2023

Project Description

Under One Sky is a non-profit organization that delivers the federal Aboriginal Head Start (AHS) program to Indigenous individuals living off-reserve in the Fredericton area. The AHS program is for children 2-5 years old to facilitate their transition to the school system. Programming focuses on childhood development and Indigenous education, through activities promoting social, physical, and cultural learning. NB-IRDT will be receiving a dataset collected by Under One Sky that profiles each applicant and their family, whether they are a participant (81 children) or on the waitlist (103 children). This dataset will be linked to administrative data held at the institute. This research aims to 1) identify disparities between program applicants (participants and waitlisted individuals) and the general New Brunswick population, and 2) to determine medium and long-term impacts of the AHS program on the participants and their families. For part one, disparities will be established through measures of health and levels of education achievement for families (all children and caregivers), and caregivers’ incidences of social assistance. These will be compared between program applicants’ families and the general population of New Brunswick not eligible to participate in the program. Part two will compare outcomes from participants and their families and waitlisted applicants and their families. Levels of education achievement and measures of health for children and their families, and incidences of social assistance of caregivers will be compared between the two groups. We will also compare receipt of social assistance for caregivers and educational achievement for siblings of applicants before and after admission into AHS to explore the impact of the program on families. This research will highlight the impact of the AHS program and will allow for more funding to be secured and further research developed.