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Resources for Administrators

These resources were compiled to assist language nest administrators and others with the process of planning and running a language nest. The resources cover a variety of topics and may be useful when pre-planning for a language nest program.

Useful Links and Resources

SENĆOŦEN LE,NOṈET SCUL,ÁUTW̱ (SENĆOŦEN Survival School) Parent Handbook

First Nations Early Childhood Development Council

B.C. Aboriginal Child Care Society

B.C First Nations Head Start: On Reserve Program

The British Columbia Ministry of Children and Family Development: Child Care

Early Childhood Educators of BC (ECEBC)


Language nests must make the decision of if and how they will license their nests. Some nests in B.C. have decided to license their programs while others operate under licensing exceptions. A very good discussion of the benefits and challenges of licensing can be found in the Research Report: Licensing First Nations' Early Childhood Programs (2013), prepared for the First Nations Early Childhood Development Council by the BC Aboriginal Child Care Society.

Pros of being licensed:

  • Sustainability and credibility - Parents may feel more comfortable sending their children to a licensed program 
  • Funding - For both nests and parents
  • Safety standards - Licensed programs meet government regulated safety standards
Cons of being licensed:

  • Restrictions on cultural activities - Licensed programs have restrictions that must be met and sometimes clash with cultural/ traditional activities
  • Staffing - It can be hard to find staff who have an Early Childhood Education (ECE) certification and are also committed to the language
For more information on licensing, see the following links:

Language Nest Handbook for B.C. First Nations Communities
The Language Nest Handbook covers information about licensing on pp. 38-39.

The British Columbia Ministry of Children and Family Development: Child Care
This website offers information on child care in B.C. On this web page you can find the Early Childhood Educator Registry that contains information about ECE training and licenses to practice. It also contains links to funding that is available for licensed child care programs.

Early Childhood Educators of B.C
ECEBC receives funding from The Ministry of Children and Family Development to provide bursaries for students in ECE programs. Language teachers who wish to become ECE certified may wish to apply for this bursary. Priority is given to Aboriginal students, students attending early childhood educational programs with an Aboriginal focus, and students working to achieve an infant/toddler educator designation.

Child Care Licensing Regulation
This document outlines all the regulations for the licensing of childcare programs, according to the Community Care and Assisted Living Act. Here you can find information on exceptions from the act, applying for a license, and requirements of programs.

WorkBC provides profiles on many careers available in British Columbia. Here you can find information about being an early childhood educator.


Every language nest will choose to run their nest in unique and individual ways. Nevertheless, it can sometimes be intimidating to plan what to do day-to-day. Here is an example of a daily schedule that was based on the schedules of a variety of different language nest programs. Feel free to use it as a model for your nest, or adapt the parts that will be useful to you. 

8:00-8:30 Children arrive. Greetings are said. Children settle in.

8:30-9:00 Some nests choose to wash-up and serve breakfast. Other nests use this time for free play.

9:00-10:00 This time is often spent on a focused language activity. This is the most standard language "teaching" part of the day.

10:00-10:30 Song or story time

10:30-11:00 Bathroom, wash-up, and snack time

11:00-12:00 Outdoor time with traditional learning

12:00-12:30 Wash-up and have lunch

12:30-1:00 Wash-up, brush teeth, go to the bathroom, get ready for nap time

1:00-2:00 Nap and quiet time. After this some nests end their days while others continue on with more activities.

2:00-3:00 Arts and crafts

3:00-3:30 Wash-up and snack time

3:30-Closing Outdoor play or free play

Would you like to share your schedule for your language nest? Contact Aliana Parker: aliana@fpcc.ca

Job Descriptions

This section is aimed at providing information about the staff that is often needed in a language nest. Some people fill many rolls that are mentioned and there is a large amount of overlap between the roles. This is intended to help you assess your needs and determine the kind of staff you need in your own language nest.

Elders: Most language nest programs rely on Elders to come and speak the language to the children, as they are often the only fluent speakers in the community. Elders should not be asked to run the nests or be responsible for care of the children; your Elder's role is to be the honoured language speaker!

Language Teacher: Some nests are lucky to have a language teacher who is not an Elder. This person can work full time in the nest and may be a fluent or semi-fluent speaker of the language. Often, language teachers will appreciate working with an Elder to help them advance their own language skills while working in the nest.

Assistant: If no language teachers are available and you need to rely entirely on the Elders to provide the language, you may wish to hire an assistant to support the Elders and care for the children. This will make the Elders' task much easier and will facilitate the smooth running of the nest.

Parents/ Volunteers/ Community members: Language nests often rely on the support of other members in the community. Parents, volunteers and community members can help out in the nest on a daily or weekly basis, or they can participate less frequently. Some volunteers clean the nest space; others work as additional supervisors during nest hours.  Some language nests, however, have found that having parents or other community members in the nest does not work for them. If parents or community members are not able to speak or stay in the language, this may sabotage the immersion environment and can be a distraction for the children.

Nest Coordinator/ Manager/ Supervisor/ Administrator: All language nest programs need someone who is responsible for administration. This person deals with the logistics of the nest such as enrollment, funding, and day-to-day operations. The administrator may work in the nest on a daily basis, or may work outside of the nest in an administrative capacity only.

ECE workers
: Licensed childcare programs will need a certified ECE to work in the nest. It is ideal if this person is a semi-fluent or fluent speaker, but if not, s/he should at least be committed to learning the language.

HeadStart Assistant/ Manager: A few language nests are run out of HeadStart programs. These nests often have people working with the HeadStart program to help care for the children while they are in the nest.

Language trainee: Sometimes nests invite community members who are dedicated to learning the language to participate. Often these members will take part in the language nest and learn the language from the Elders while supporting them by caring for the children.

Cook: Nests may choose to have a cook come in and prepare meals and snacks for the children.

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