Abecedarian Program

The Abecedarian Approach is an evidence-based early childhood intervention that is proven to improve developmental and learning outcomes for children in high-risk communities. Emphasizing language as the core of early learning, the Approach believes that strong language skills allow for greater cognitive, social and emotional development in children. The curriculum of the Abecedarian Approach is rooted in a strong set of teaching and learning strategies implemented through intentional adult-child interactions.
The Abecedarian Approach was first piloted in the Lord Selkirk Park Child Care Centre in 2011/12, and has successfully demonstrated improved outcomes for children.
What are the Expected Outcomes?
The overarching goal of the program is to level the playing field for children in terms of physical, social, cognitive and emotional health and well-being. The projected outcomes of the program are:
  •  Improved developmental outcomes for children with regards to literacy and verbal language, physical, cognitive & social emotional skills leading to increas in school readiness;
  • Increase in inclusive practices in the child care facility;
  • Improved parent-child attachment and family well-being through positive parenting practices and family support. 
Abecedarian Model Expansion
In response to successful implementation of the Abecedarian Approach in the Lord Selkirk Park Child Care Centre and as part of Manitoba’s commitment to increasing diversity, inclusivity and quality of care, the department is seeking four additional child care centres for the expansion of the Abecedarian program in 2023.
As part of the expansion, facilities will provide full-day, year-round, centre-based programming that incorporates the four main components of the Abecedarian Approach – Learning Games©, Language Priority, Enriched Caregiving, and Conversational Reading.
Funding will support operational and programming costs needed to implement the approach using a tiered approach which is as follows: up to $362K for 50 spaces or less; up to $742K for 51-100 spaces; up to $1,106K for more than 101 spaces and is based on the number of licensed spaces, an approved budget, and available financial resources.
Selected child care facilities will partner with Red River College Polytechnic to have an assigned faculty member provide ongoing professional support and mentorship in the areas of programming, training, and direct instruction.
The Abecedarian Program Expansion is an initiative funded under the Canada- Manitoba Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement. Under this agreement, the two-year Action Plan commits to investing in the expansion of the Abecedarian Approach in four child-care facilities by 2023, benefitting up to 240 children.
2023 Selected Child Care Facilities
On April 27, 2023, Manitoba announced a total investment of $2.1 million for the Abecedarian Program Expansion implemented at four licensed child care facilities. The first of four facilities includes Morrow Early Learning and Child Development Centre - Rene Deleurme supporting 100 children. On August 2, 2023, three additional facilities were announced including: Thrive Child Care (supporting 36 children, Children of the Universe Learning Centre (supporting 24 children), and Early Learning and Child Care Thompson Inc. (supporting 74 children).
For more information, contact:
Diversity and Inclusion Unit
Early Learning and Child Care Division
Department of Education and Early Childhood Learning
210 - 114 Garry Street, Winnipeg, MB Canada R3C 4V4
Email: ELCC-ISP@gov.mb.ca

Early Learning and Child Care Program 210-114 Garry Street, Winnipeg MB R3C 4V4

Email: cdcinfo@gov.mb.ca

Phone: 204-945-0776 Toll-free: 1-888-213-4754 Fax: 204-948-2625 TTY: 204-945-3724

Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m