Why are we conducting this research project?

Around the age of 2, children begin a period of life filled with challenges: they have to learn to manage their behaviours, express their needs in an adequate way, and to behave in a prosocial way in a group. This learning process is necessary for them to function well at school entry. Children need help in this task; their parents and educators are therefore essential resources. This research project will evaluate different approaches to support parents and educators in this important role. Then, we will determine to what extent this aid makes children better prepared when starting school. Sixty daycares, including yours, have been recruited to test these different approaches.

How will the project be carried out?

  1. You will be invited to answer a questionnaire comprising various components three times over the next two years (the first time in the next few weeks, then in approximately 7 months and 26 months). Each questionnaire takes about 30 to 60 minutes to complete. The questionnaire will cover the following subjects: sociodemographic characteristics, behaviours, and health of your child, recently experienced family events, your health and your parenting practices. We will also ask your child’s educator to fill a questionnaire on his/her experience, activities at the childcare centre, and the behaviour of your child.

  2. Your child’s educator will measure the children’s stress level. To do this, he/she will collect a small section of about 30 hairs near the back of your child’s neck. The sample will be taken in a playful context. It does not hurt and cannot be seen.

  3. In about 7 months, a research assistant will invite your child to participate in two games to assess his social development.

    The four I-Care project approaches

What are the disadvantages and risks of participating in this project?

Participation in the programs evaluated in this research project do not carry any risk for children or their parents.

The only disadvantages associated with your participation in this project as a parent is the time dedicated to filling in the questionnaire and, in the case of parents in daycares where the group meetings will be offered, the time dedicated to these meetings.

The questionnaire covers personal subjects such as depression or anxiety symptoms which you could have recently experienced. If one of these questions makes you uncomfortable, you can simply refuse to respond. If one of the themes covered makes you feel distressed, we can refer you to the appropriate resources as needed.

There is a slight possibility that the analysis of your child’s hair sample indicates that he/she has very high levels of cortisol. If this is the case for more than one sample during the two-years of the study, we will contact you to inform you and obtain the contact details of your child’s doctor to forward the results of the analysis.

What are the advantages of participating in this project?

There are no benefits directly associated with filling in the questionnaire used in this research other than knowing that you are contributing to knowledge on child development.

However, you and/or your child could benefit from the advantages associated with the program to which your daycare will be assigned to. Brindami+ can contribute to the development of better social skills for your child. The Incredible Years® can promote the development of more harmonious relationships with your children, better problem-resolution skills, and improved communication within your family. Being better informed on healthy lifestyles for your child can help you determine how to promote his/her health and well-being.

How will confidentiality be maintained?

All the data, video recordings, and biological samples collected as part of this project will be kept strictly confidential unless you give an authorization or if exempted by law. All the responses given in a questionnaire, the samples and the results obtained will be coded, which means that they will not be associated with your name or your child’s name. Only authorized people in the research team will have access to the list which establishes a correspondence between the number assigned to your family and your name and that of your child. During the study, the data will be kept on secure servers of the Applied Research Unit of the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Centre under the responsibility of the principal researchers.