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. We have just begun our offering for winter 2021 with 14 registrants.

Upcoming GroupWise Programs TBA  please call 403-205-5178  or email to be placed on a waiting list for our next program offering.


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:


What you’ll learn: 

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 hrs instruction)

The Gingerbread Way Program Online workshops blend pedagogy and practice for those who work with young children, up to age 5, and their families.  Through a variety of learning activities, such as breakout-room exercises and group discussion, participants will:

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 upcoming Gingerbread Way Program Level One Offerings :

Level One Saturday mornings May 1st, 8th, and 15th  9:30 am – 11:30 am Register Here 


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 you 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

Training Location:
Families Matter Society
3404 – 25th Street NE
Calgary, AB T1Y 6C1

Dates and Times: New Dates To Be Announced in 2021 

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

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.



Alberta Home Visitation Network Presents: Motivational Interviewing Level 1

Dates and Times: New Dates To Be Announced in 2021 

Location: Families Matter 3404 25th street NE Calgary AB T1Y 6C1

AHVNA Members: $250.00 (does not include lunch)

Non Members: $315.00 (does not include lunch)

About Motivational Interviewing: Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a way of working with people who are not ready to change. It is respectful and works to facilitate change by increasing a person’s own motivation.

MI has been proven effective in over 60 controlled clinical research studies. MI has been used successfully with many behaviours: alcohol and drug abuse, smoking, exercise, diabetes management, heart disease rehabilitation, diet, FASD prevention, problem gambling, family violence and working with people who don’t have a home.

MI has been found to be as effective (or more effective) than methods which take much more time and counsellor effort. About the Level 1 course This two day course builds on participants’ existing skills to increase comfort and confidence in working with reluctant changers. Participants will learn and practice the principles and basic skills of Motivational Interviewing. Participants will: Learn the theory and research behind Motivational Interviewing Learn and practice the 5 basic skills of Motivational Interviewing : opening a conversation, asking open-ended questions, affirming, listening reflectively and summarizing Learn how the basic skills of Motivational Interviewing are used to help a client move towards change by working effectively with ambivalence. Register For Event!

Registration: Advance registration is required for all participants.

For more information or to register contact us at:

AHVNA office 9321 Jasper Avenue Edmonton AB T5H 3T7

Phone: 780-429-4787 Fax: 780-429-4784


Payment: We accept payment by credit, cash or cheque. 


Regional One Day Workshops for Human Service Leaders
Building a Healthy Performing Work Culture

Get Educated
 Learn the connection between well-being, quality of service, and firm outcomes
 Learn how to build a culture of physical and psychological safety, health and performance (in alignment with the Canadian Psychological Health and Safety Standard)
Get Connected
 Join like minded leaders in the human services sector
 Learn and share leading practices
 Get connected to resources and training
Get Healthy
 Understand non-violent crisis interventions to harassment and violence concerns
 Have practical tips to boost resilience and exercise self care for yourself personally and for all employees
Perform Better
 Learn how to thrive and perform better individually and as an organization

Dates and Times: New Dates To Be Announced in 2021 

Get Educated | Get Healthy | Get Connected | Perform Better
Get Connected. Get Empowered.
Regional One Day Workshops for Human Service Leaders
Building a Healthy Performing Work Culture


Up Coming Programs