The Power of Parenting

Monday, 19 October 2020

Professional Education

Professional Education

Through our professional education activities, we aim to reach parents through the professionals who support them. Invest in Kids brings the most current science and practice to professionals, enhances their skills - and thus their effectiveness - and builds community capacity. We develop original curricula or fully customize existing material as required to meet the unique needs of specific groups of professionals.

We have developed a strong reputation for the development and implementation of high quality training for a growing range of professionals across Canada and the United States. Our training institutes and other initiatives reach public health nurses, family home visitors, early childhood educators, social workers, children's mental health professionals and physicians. In addition, we develop resources specifically for professionals to use in their outreach to parents.


More about our training:


Highly interactive - We use a unique case study approach that gives participants an opportunity to practice what they have learned in presentations, small and large group discussions and other elements of the session.

Based on research and best practice - We review and incorporate all research relevant to each topic area.

Links research, theory and practice - We draw the link between research, theory and practice so that participants understand the rationale for the strategies they use in their work with families and young children.

Strategy-based - We offer professionals various strategies to help them build stronger relationships with the parents they work with as well as a range of activities, exercises and approaches to help parents enhance their relationship with their children.


Training Institutes



Family Support Institute

Invest in Kids is working with the Province of Alberta to create new training for family support professionals working in that province's child welfare system. This Institute has the potential to dramatically change how child welfare agencies work with families considered to be at a moderate risk level and who are voluntarily participating with a child protection agency. The focus of our training will be on the enhancement of parenting skills, parental confidence and understanding of child development so that parents are better able to meet the needs of their children.


Comfort, Play & Teach: An Activity Based Guide and Parent Engagement Program

Invest in Kids, in collaboration with the province of Alberta, is developing a preschool curriculum that supports the province's early learning and child care priorities for the enhancement of child development. This unique curriculum will demonstrate the benefits that children receive from the collaborative efforts of parents and early childhood professionals to prepare them for school. Research shows there is a positive relationship between high quality child care, parents' activities and interactions with their child, and healthy child development. The preschool curriculum will be a holistic approach that promotes both development and school readiness not only through the implementation of age-appropriate activities but also through nurturing the efforts of parents to relate to their child in ways that support learning.

Professionals in early childhood settings will benefit from recent research on child development, flexible, adaptable ideas for programming and parent engagement, and tools for creating an enriched environment to promote school readiness in the early years.


Core Training of Family Home Visitors

Purpose: This five-day session focuses on building the knowledge and skills of basic home visitation, values and beliefs, and gaining practical strategies for reaching, engaging and supporting hard to reach families. The training will increase the home visitor’s awareness and knowledge of child abuse, duty to report, establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries and developing a range of skills necessary to work with at-risk families with young children.

Audience: The Institute is designed for home visitor’s who deliver home visiting supports to families at-risk and have limited training or experience in home visitation.

Institute Features:

The Institute provides a rich and engaging learning environment that includes:

  • A comprehensive manual prepared by experienced Canadian experts in early childhood education, early intervention, child development, home visiting and family support.
  • A customization process that allows local communities the opportunity to ensure the manual and training reflect local philosophies, programs, and systems supporting families with young children.
  • 20 modules with activities and handouts
  • References to additional information and resources
  • A participatory format and hands on learning opportunities


Institute Goals:

  • To enhance and develop the skills of those doing home visitation.
  • To affirm the importance of training for family home visitors.
  • To raise the level of knowledge and skills of home visitor’s that work with at-risk families with young children and the role of a home visitor.
  • Affirm the valuable role family home visitors have in the lives of families.



Training the Trainers of Postpartum Nurse Home Visitors

This two-day Institute supports nurses who train other nurses to deliver postpartum home visits. The Public Health Nurse's role as trainer and content expert is facilitated through the use of a comprehensive curriculum that addresses issues related to postpartum care of the mother and infant, the family's transition, and other concerns that the family may have. Training the Trainers of Postpartum Nurse Home Visitors.


Training the Trainers of Family Home Visitors

This three-day session focuses on building the knowledge and skills of those professionals training family home visitors. The professional's role as a trainer and content expert is examined using a comprehensive curriculum that addresses recruitment, training and supervision of experienced community people to provide in-home services for at-risk families. Training the Trainers of Family Home Visitors.


Home Visiting for Professionals Working with High Risk Families

This five-day training is for those professionals who use home-based interventions in their work with young children and their families considered to be high risk. This training blends current research and best practice to increase the skills and knowledge of professionals in the areas of child development, screening and assessment, parent-child relationships, intervention strategies, practical strategies for reaching, engaging and supporting families and working in an interdisciplinary context. Home Visiting for Professionals Working with High Risk Families.


Working with High Risk Families in Child Care Settings

This three-day training is designed for early childhood educators working with high-risk families and their young children in child care settings. Professionals will enhance their skills and knowledge of early intervention and prevention strategies within the context of the child care setting and the opportunities and limitations such a setting offers. Working with High Risk Families in Child Care Settings.


Working with High Risk Children in Children's Metal Health Settings

This three-day session is intended to provide core training in early childhood mental health services. The training blends current research and best practice in the areas of early childhood development, child psychopathology, parent-child relationships, family eco-systems, screening and assessment and interventions that improve both parent-child relationships and parenting capacity. Working with High Risk Children in Children's Mental Health Settings.


Strategies for Supporting Families & Children

This one-day session familiarizes participants with strategies to enhance the numerous parenting capacities called upon to nurture a child's development. This training is for trainers or supervisors who focus on maximizing the guide's effectiveness as a planning and recording tool as well as a vehicle to support parenting capacities, knowledge and skills. Strategies for Supporting Families and Children.


The Ounce Scale Practitioner Training

This two-day training introduces professionals to the Ounce Scale (2003), which was developed as a functional assessment measure from birth to age 3½ years. Participants will learn about the three components of the Ounce Scale (the Observation Record, the Family Album, and the Developmental Profile), and will have hands-on experience applying each component to a case study child. The Ounce Scale Practitioner Training.


Kids Have Stress Too! Facilitator Training

This one-day session trains professionals in the principles and practices of managing children's stress, so that they, in turn, can provide parent education on the Kids Have Stress Too! program in their communities. Kids Have Stress Too! is a program developed by the Psychology Foundation of Canada and delivered by Invest in Kids. Kids Have Stress Too!® Facilitator Training





Share It Forward™ Parent Education Kit

Share It Forward is a multi-media kit designed to provide groups of parents with a clear understanding of how to support their child's healthy development. It's the perfect resource for parent educators and to stimulate ideas and activities for parent-led parent and tot playgroups.

This resource is gaining in popularity with front line professionals across Canada who are working with families with young children. With its multi-user license agreement, it is of particular interest to organizations with field staff in multiple locations.

Based on Comfort, Play & Teach: A Positive Approach to Parenting™ - Invest in Kids' easy to use, evidence-based approach to positive parenting - this parent education kit is designed for use by professionals with parents in individual and group settings or by parents in informal playgroups or on their own, with their own families. It provides parents with activities, strategies and information to enhance parenting knowledge, skills and confidence.

The materials provide insight into the developmental benefits of all the activities which include age-appropriate songs, finger play, arts and crafts, imaginary play ideas and floor time activities. Also included for parent educators are guidelines for training adult learners. With Share It Forward, communities have a powerful, universal language to describe, understand and engage in positive parenting.


Facilitator's Guide to the Resource Kit

This guide is designed to provide professionals, program facilitators and others with guidelines on using our "Years Before Five" Resource Kit as the basis for a parent education program. It brings the Kit to life by delving deeper in to the science of child development, using easy-to-understand language.