Professional Development

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Families Matter believes in investing in the staff working in this important sector. We deliver professional development opportunities as well as host other agencies who are delivering programming. See below for classes both by internal and external providers. If you are interested in using our location to deliver a program, please call Corinna at 403.205.5197.


GroupWise: The Art & Science of Facilitating Parenting Groups. This professional development opportunity is for participants who are currently working with, or wish to work with, parents in educational and group settings. This program will not address a specific parenting curriculum. The emphasis is on creating learning environments, roles and responsibilities of parent educators, and plenty of time to practice engagement skills. Come join our encouraging and supportive learning team and expand on your skills. 




The Gingerbread Way Program Workshops

Target audience:
Professionals working in the Early Childhood Community (daycare providers, early childhood educators, library staff, special needs assistants)

Eligible child care staff may be able to access Professional Development Funding through Alberta Children’s Services. 

Please visit their website for more details:

This interactive workshop blends pedagogy and practice for professionals working with young children.  Participants discuss how rhymes, songs, fingerplays, books, and storytelling (oral, dramatic, and with props) support areas of child development, including those outlined in Flight: Alberta’s Early Learning and Care Framework.  They also learn new materials and practice presentation techniques to engage young children, up to 5yrs, and their families.  Participants who take Level 1, or who have experience presenting a variety of materials to children, may take Level 2 to further enhance their storytimes.  

The Gingerbread Way Program: Level One Online (6.5-7.5 hrs instruction)

1) Enrich their planning skills with a deeper understanding rhymes, songs, and stories and how they support areas of child development.

2) Learn oral storytelling and presentation strategies to engage children during storytime and throughout the day.

3) Select rhymes, songs, and stories that appeal to children of different ages, cultural backgrounds, and abilities.

4) Be introduced to resources to grow their skill sets and reflective practices.

Participants receive a resource guide, a PDF copy of the award-winning What’ll I Do with the Baby-o by Jane Cobb, and materials to create activities to use with children.

Nursery Rhymes and Child Development introduces participants to several oral nursery rhymes, songs, fingerplays, and fingerpuppets, contextualizing them within domains of child development.  Through facilitator presentations, discussion, and small group exercises, they learn and practice new materials to use with children and families.  They also explore how to adapt them throughout the day for children of different ages, cultural backgrounds, and abilities.

Early Literacy & Books leads participants through the skills and knowledge that young children learn to prepare them for reading.  They review how children’s engagement with books supports developmental domains, such as emotions.  Through facilitator presentations, discussion, and small group exercises, participants also explore various strategies and activities to foster children’s early literacy skills, including finding the “just right” book for different ages, cultural backgrounds, and abilities.

Oral Storytelling Basics immerses participants in the experience of listening to traditional folktales told orally and/or with minimal props, such as sequencing cards. Through interactive and small group exercises, they practice visual, auditory, and kinesthetic story-learning techniques.  They also learn how oral storytelling supports a variety of developmental domains and how to adapt stories for children of different ages, cultural backgrounds, and abilities.

Our next Gingerbread Way Programs for Level One are  

The Gingerbread Way Program: Level Two (6 hrs instruction)

Review and deepen your understanding of oral rhymes, songs, fingerplays, finger puppets, books, and oral storytelling within areas of child development.  Discuss your experiences, emerging questions, and challenges. Broaden your oral storytelling and engagement skills, using dramatic techniques, props, and felt boards. Plan how to use these new materials in specific early childhood education centres for diverse audiences. The day will cumulate with your planning and presenting a 15-20 minute storytime. Participants receive a read-aloud picture, an accompanying felt board story, and a resource guide.







Positive Discipline in Everyday Parenting Facilitator Training Program

Dates and Times: New Dates To Be Announced in 2022

Cost of the training: $600 (CAD) includes:
• 4 days training
• Facilitator Manual
• Parent Book
Training includes:
• Handouts
• Follow-up Mentorship Support

Who should attend?
• Early childhood educators, parent support staff, public health nurses, family home visitors, community development workers, child and family support workers, and other professionals.
• Anyone who supports parents, children, and/or families.
• Anyone interested in facilitating positive discipline parent groups through their workplace.