Working Together for the Early Years PDF Print E-mail

Unit members work individually and collaboratively to promote leadership and local engagement in support of diversity and social equity in the early years. Some members focus primarily on early years projects in the Majority World, while others work mostly on Minority World initiatives.

Dr. Alan Pence is the founder and co-director of the Unit for Early Years Research and Development. He is Professor and UNESCO Chair for Early Childhood Care, Education, and Development at the University of Victoria, Canada. He is the 2003 recipient of the International Education Leadership Award from the Canadian Bureau for International Education and the inaugural Craigdarroch Research Award for Societal Benefit from the University of Victoria. In addition to founding the Unit in 1992, he also founded the First Nations Partnership Programs (FNPP) and the Early Childhood Development Virtual University (ECDVU). He has authored over 120 articles and chapters on a variety of child and education topics. His most recent books include: Child and Youth Care: Critical Perspectives in Policy, Practice, and Pedagogy (edited with White, in press), Africa’s Future, Africa’s Challenge: Early Childhood Care and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa (edited with Garcia and Evans, 2008), Beyond Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care (with Dahlberg and Moss, 2nd edition 2007), and Supporting Indigenous Children’s Development (with Ball, 2006).



Dr. Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw is the co-director of the Unit for Early Years Research and Development and an Associate Professor at the School of Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria. Dr. Pacini-Ketchabaw is the co-director of the Investigating Quality Project and the Implementation of the British Columbia Early Learning Framework Project. These initiatives promote the active engagement of early childhood educators in discussions and actions that can lead to the formation of sustainable and positive early learning environments in B.C. She has also taken the lead at the University of Victoria, School of Child and Youth Care in development an Early Years Specialization, offered at the 3rd and 4th years of the Bachelors degree in CYC. She has published many articles on diversity issues in early childhood in international journals. Her most recent book, Flows, Rhythms, and Intensities of Early Childhood Education Curriculum, written with research colleagues, was published in 2010 by Peter Lang.


Majority World PDF Print E-mail



Debbie Blakely is the Project Administrator for the Early Childhood Development Virtual University (ECDVU) team, a role she has played since 2006. She is responsible for all aspects of organizational support for the delivery of ECDVU. Debbie gains great pride from the work she does, knowing that it supports some of the dedicated individuals in Africa who are truly making  a difference in promoting the health and well-being of children in their countries.




Minority World PDF Print E-mail




Allison Benner has assisted the Unit with policy, research, curriculum, and communications initiatives on an ongoing basis for nearly 15 years. She has nearly 20 years’ experience as a policy analyst and communications specialist, with particular emphasis on child care and early intervention. Allison holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Victoria. Her research focuses on first language acquisition in infants from a variety of linguistic and cultural backgrounds.