Beginning in 2002, Dr. Ball mounted a program of research exploring several aspects of Indigenous Early Childhood Development and developmentally oriented early childhood care programs. Reflecting the collaboration of many First Nations community partners in this research, the program of research is called 'Early Childhood Development Intercultural Partnerships.' The majority of the research to date focuses on questions raised by First Nations communities and agencies in Canada.

Research Goals

  1. Creating Knowledge about Early Childhood Development
  2. Respond to the pressing need in Canada (and in the majority world) to develop principles, protocols, measurement criteria and assessment procedures for understanding, tracking, and evaluating Indigenous children's development and developmental needs and the impacts of infant and early childhood programs on development.

  3. Capacity Building
  4. Provide a multi-component, funded research 'centre' and team-learning environment for Indigenous students and community members to strengthen their research capacities and build research momentum in the area of child and youth development and services.

These studies combine quantitative and qualitative data and use a variety of research methods including cross-sectional and longitudinal designs as well as participatory action research. Some of the projects have a primary focus on establishing culturally relevant dimensions and criteria for assessing child development in order to help fill the gaps that now exist in our knowledge of how to measure Indigenous child development trajectories, how to identify significant developmental needs, and how to assess the effectiveness of developmental support programs and interventions. All of the projects involve First Nations community partners. Emerging principles and protocols for the conduct of research involving Indigenous peoples are used.

Research Projects

  1. Indigenous Early Childhood Programs as 'hook' and 'hub' for integrated and multi-sectoral service delivery and social cohesion in First Nations communities
  2. Determinants of transitions from training to work in Indigenous Early Childhood Education
  3. Indigenous knowledge and Indigenous parents' goals for children's development
  4. Reproduction of culture and cultural identity in Indigenous Early Childhood Programs
  5. Determinants of parent participation in Indigenous Early Childhood Programs
  6. Indigenous fathers' involvement in caring for children and participation in out-of-home care
  7. Impacts of children's involvement in Indigenous Early Childhood Programs on parent's social support: Development of a measurement tool
  8. Early language facilitation in Indigenous Early Childhood Programs: Development of a measurement tool
  9. Indigenous parents' beliefs about their children's early language development
  10. Canadian speech-language pathologists' perceptions of their readiness to serve Indigenous children and families
  11. Facilitation of heritage language learning in Indigenous Early Childhood Programs: Beliefs and practices
  12. Exploration of the prevalence and distinguishing features of Aboriginal English 'dialects'
  13. Community characteristics affecting sustainability of Indigenous Early Childhood Programs