Color & Control:

Round Up

BC’s child-care gap

By Katie Hyslop

British Columbia’s $10-a-day child-care plan is about increasing accessibility by improving affordability and availability. While thousands of child-care spaces have been subsidized through the program since 2018, children with disabilities—and their parents—are still waiting for the province to live up to its pledge that accessible child care “is about inclusion for all children.”

There’s no official count of how many child-care sites are accessible for kids with disabilities because there is no provincial definition of what makes a child-care site inclusive. But parents say there are not enough spaces, in preschool or before and after school, to meet the need. When child care is unavailable, parents often quit working or reduce their hours to care for their child, creating financial pressures. That’s also true for families of kids with disabilities, whose expenses are often greater than your average family.

“It’s propelling families, from an early stage of their child’s life, into poverty and financial instability,” says Brenda Lenahan, president of BC Complex Kids Society.

Katrina Chen, minister of state for child care, says the province is working on improving disabled child-care. The government is also prioritizing inclusive child-care sites for subsidies and updating early childhood education training to include working with kids with disabilities. “There’s going to be a lot of work that’s surrounding inclusion, including the educational curriculum,” Chen said.

Source: The Tyee

Just five minutes

By Rachel Bowie

I was playing with my son when he did something silly: He took my phone right out of my hand, ran into the other room and hid it. His hiding spot was actually clever—he zipped it into one of his toy suitcases—but his point was clear: Put your phone down, mama.

Of course my phone use wasn’t meant to annoy him. My intention is to be present, but I’ve got a million balls in the air—and if my kid is buried in a LEGO project, will he really notice if I avert my eyes to tap away on my phone for a few minutes?

The answer is yes, according to parenting experts. So what’s the tactic for making one-on-one time really count? PNP time.

PNP stands for ‘play, no phone,’ meaning your device isn’t just on silent when hanging with your kids, it’s in a different room. Often when your kids look at you, they see the back of your phone. There’s literally something blocking their connection to you.

“All it takes is five minutes of PNP time a day for your kids to feel the impact and, in turn, for those feelings of connection to increase. These small changes can make a big difference in fostering a healthy parent-child relationship, allowing for meaningful interactions and creating lasting memories together. It also lays the groundwork for lifelong positive relationships, equipping children with the tools they need to form secure attachments and navigate social interactions in the future.”


Unique prints

By Heidi Ledford

Our fingerprints are thought to provide added grip and sensitivity to fingertips, and their patterns have long been used to identify individuals and diagnose some developmental conditions. The whorls, arches and loops that make fingerprints unique are produced during fetal development by waves of tiny ridges that form on the fingertip, spread and then collide with each other—similar to the process that gives a zebra its stripes, or a cheetah its spots.

In a recent study, our understanding of fingerprints has increased with researchers recognizing the interplay between two proteins—one that stimulates ridge formation, called WNT, and another that inhibits it, called BMP. These produce periodic waves of ridges that emerge from three distinct regions on the fingertip: the tip of the finger, the centre of the fingertip, and the crease at the base of the fingertip, where the finger bends.

The analyses supported the presence of a ‘Turing reaction–diffusion system,’ which can be created when a molecule that activates a developmental process stimulates both itself and an inhibitory molecule. The result is a self-organizing system that creates periodic patterns. This same system has also been described as instrumental in establishing a variety of familiar biological sights, including brightly coloured scales of some tropical fish, and feather patterns in birds.


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