Polygon Created with Sketch. Home | Innovation Projects

Early Childhood Education Lab

A strategic initiative to help childcare educators thrive in their careers

The Future Skills Centre has awarded funding to NouLAB to conduct research in the early-childhood-education (ECE) sector. NouLAB is a social innovation lab that is part of the Pond-Deshpande Centre at the University of New Brunswick.

The project, which also enjoys the support of the four provincial governments in Atlantic Canada, will examine the ECE workforce and how its capacity might be improved through retention and training for ECE educators. NouLAB will convene multi-sectoral teams within the sector to tackle complex challenges facing ECE, and will involve childcare businesses, educators, governments, parents, academics, and any other stakeholders engaged in the education of young children.

About the lab:

The lab will span sixteen months and progress over five stages.

Phase 1: Groundwork (Establishing relationships and creating conditions for success)

Phase 2: Discovery (Undertaking research to understand core problems)

Phase 3: Ideation (Translating insights into opportunities)

Phase 4: Design (Exploring solutions)

Phase 5: Roadmap (Identifying paths to implementation)

Methodologies that will be part of the lab include jurisdictional and ethnographic research, design thinking, systems thinking, Theory U, human-centred design, and participatory facilitation practices.

Vision for the Project

At the end of the lab cycle (December 2021) NouLAB hopes to have:

  • a clearer understanding of the problem;
  • strategies/interventions to address key barriers;
  • a clear pathway to move prototypes on to the pilot stage.


This project will be evaluated using tools and approaches aligned with its goals, context, and stage of development. The evaluation will focus on generating the right evidence at the right moment to move the intervention forward. Read more about our evaluation strategy.

Related Projects

Women holding toddler in lap reading a book.

College Transformation des Collèges

Colleges in the Atlantic Region have partnered to advance a collaborative vision built on innovation and equity to transform the college system. Through a virtual Innovation Centre and a series of cutting-edge pilot projects that form the College Transformation des Collèges initiative, member colleges will engage with a broad range of partners to design, deliver and evaluate high-impact innovations.
Employee taking hand-written notes while reading from a computer screen

Assessing and Developing Workplace Employability Skills with ESAT

Development of the Employability Skills Assessment Tool (ESAT), a cloud-based tool to measure an individual’s social & emotional/employability skills.
Presenter in front of a slide entitled

Workplace Inclusion Charter Expansion

Connect under-utilized talent pools with local employers in Kingston through the implementation of the Workplace Inclusion Charter program.
More Projects