The Conference

The Nova Scotia Child Care Association is pleased to host our sixth annual Mental Health in the Early Years: Social Emotional Wellness from the Start. We hope to provide practical knowledge and tools through a variety of exciting professional development opportunities aimed to support those who work with our most vulnerable population, children under the age of six and their families.

The Nova Scotia Child Care Association hopes to provide practical information for professionals to use in their daily interactions with young children, while stimulating the mind and recognizing the important work we do each day. This conference is intended to strengthen ties and expand collaborations between professionals who work with children in the early years of life, particularly those who require additional support.


Dr. Chaya Kulkarni is currently the Director of Infant Mental Health Promotion (IMHP) at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. IMHP is a community-based coalition of individuals and professional agencies dedicated to promoting optimal mental health outcomes for infants in the first three years of life. Dr. Kulkarni provides leadership to research, professional education and public awareness activities at IMHP. She is currently leading advocacy and training initiatives in areas such as child welfare including family courts, and community-based programs supporting families in their neighborhoods. She leads IMHP in the development and implementation of curricula and materials to support professionals working with families of young children.

Maureen Dockendorf is British Columbia’s newly appointed Superintendent of Early Years, a joint position shared between the Provincial Office for the Early Years and the Ministry of Education, with a strong focus of working with school districts to strengthen and build upon their work in the early years which will further support efforts under the BC Early Years Strategy. Maureen has worked as a Teacher, SFU Faculty Associate, Principal and Assistant Superintendent and BC Ministry of Education Superintendent of Literacy and Numeracy at the Ministry of Education to support the redesign of curriculum and competency development within the context of the transformational change process in BC’s education system. She will continue to support this work from her new role.

Barbara (Barb) Reid has worked in the field of supporting families and children with disabilities for over 25 years. Her professional practice is grounded in values of community inclusion and family centered philosophies. She provides leadership in best teaching practices for children with disabilities. For families, she supports their journey to envision a future for their children that integrates their hopes and dreams for an inclusive community life from childhood to adulthood. She is currently the Executive Director of the GRIT program (Getting Ready for Inclusion Today) in Alberta. GRIT is an exemplary, inclusive early childhood program for children with disabilities and their families.

Kristin Tenney-Blackwell, M.A., LLP, IMH-E, has been working with children, families and educators for over eighteen years and is passionate about promoting young children’s social and emotional well-being in an effort to support resiliency and readiness for school. In addition to her private practice, she has been active in providing consultation and guidance for organizations such as Vanderbilt University, Georgetown University, ZERO TO THREE, the Devereux Center for Resilient Children, Erikson Institute, Head Start, and Early Head Start. Her portfolio includes work in national and state level early childhood education and mental health initiatives, in addition to coaching, reflective supervision, training, resource development, research, and evaluation of early childhood projects.

The conference planning committee invites you to participate in this exciting opportunity. We look forward to seeing you at the conference!




The Nova Scotia Child Care Association (NSCCA) is a non-profit membership based society with the goal of professional recognition of its members, who are early childhood educators (ECE’s) in Nova Scotia. NSCCA recognizes that ECEs are the key ingredient in determining quality in early childhood learning and child care programs.


  • Educate and facilitate the ethical practice of our members;
  • Educate and facilitate the use of standards of practice by our members and
  • Advocate for and support our members in their provision of quality early learning and child care.


NSCCA provides ongoing professional development, conferences, and resources to members and the early learning and child care (ELCC) sector.

Become a Member

We are the only early childhood organization in Nova Scotia that focuses on the individual ECE professional practitioner regardless of where they work. Membership is voluntary with a yearly fee.

Become a Member

We are the only early childhood organization in Nova Scotia that focuses on the individual ECE professional practitioner regardless of where they work. Membership is voluntary with a yearly fee.

Download Documents



This dialogue paper is to encourage conversation among individuals and groups in the early learning
and care field.



Mental Health in the Early Years Social Emotional Wellness from the Start Conference 2018



Le présent document de travail a pour but de favoriser le dialogue entre les individus et les groupes
relevant du secteur de l’éducation de la petite enfance et de la garde d’enfants.



As the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) project comes closer to the completion and validation of the Early Childhood Educator (ECE) competency profile, as project manager we want to provide an update on what has been accomplished and the next steps.



Memorandum and Bylaws of Association Nova Scotia Child Care Association

Contact NSCCA




102-3845 Joseph Howe Drive
Halifax, NS B3L 4H9

Monday – Friday 9:30 am – 3:30 pm

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