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Vol. 23. Num. 2. 2014. Pages 135-143

Better Beginnings, Better Futures: Theory, research, and knowledge transfer of acommunity-based initiative for children and families

[Better Beginnings, Better Futures [a mejor comienzo, mejor futuro]: teoría, investigación y transferencia de conocimientos de una iniciativa comunitaria con niños y familias]

S. Kathleen Worton1 , Rachel Caplan1 , Geoffrey Nelson1 ,S. Mark Pancer1 , Colleen Loomis1 , Ray DeV. Peters2 , Karen Hayward3

1Wilfrid Laurier Univ., Canada ,2Queen’s Univ., Canada ,3Better Beginnings Research Group, Canada

Abstract

Better Beginnings, Better Futures is an early childhood initiative focused on promoting healthy developmentof children and families in economically disadvantaged communities. The Better Beginnings approach isecological and holistic, community-driven, integrated with existing community services and supports, anduniversally available to children aged 4-8 within communities in which it is offered. The Better Beginningsinitiative effectively illustrates the concept of wellness as fairness through its efforts to create more justsocial conditions and its connection to both procedural and distributive justice, the two principles offairness outlined by Prilleltensky (2012). Through the development of programs that support children,parents, families, and the community as a whole, Better Beginnings initiatives are able to promotechildren's development by building community capacity to create healthy and positive environments forchildren. This paper provides an overview of the Better Beginnings, Better Futures initiative from its outsetin 1990 to the present, with a view towards examining the ways in which knowledge generated from suchinitiatives can be transferred to other communities. 

Resumen

Better Beginnings, Better Futures [a mejor comienzo, mejor futuro] es una iniciativa dirigida a la primerainfancia para fomentar el desarrollo de la salud de niños y familias en comunidades económicamente desfavorecidas.El enfoque Better Beginnings es ecológico, holístico, impulsado por la comunidad, integrado enlos servicios y el apoyo existentes en la comunidad y de acceso universal para niños de entre 4 y 8 años enaquellas comunidades a las que se ofrece. Esta iniciativa ilustra meridianamente el concepto de bienestarcomo justicia a través de su esfuerzo por crear unas condiciones sociales más justas y su relación tanto conla justicia procedimental como con la distributiva, los dos principios descritos por Prilleltensky (2012). Mediantela puesta en marcha de programas de apoyo a niños, padres, familias y comunidad como un todo,estas iniciativas pueden impulsar el desarrollo de los niños al crear la capacidad comunitaria para potenciarentornos saludables y positivos para los niños. Este trabajo presenta una descripción de la iniciativa BetterBeginnings, Better Futures desde su arranque en 1990 hasta la actualidad, con la vista puesta en el análisisde las distintas maneras de traspasar los conocimientos surgidos de estas iniciativas a otras comunidades. 

Keywords

Prevention
Early childhood development
Evaluation
Knowledge transfer
Evidence-based

Palabras clave

Prevención
Desarrollo temprano del niño
Evaluación
Transferencia de conocimientos Empírico
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