July 10, 2013
Families of young children in some Nova Scotia communities will soon have early years centres to add to their resources thanks, in part, to the support from the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation Inc.
Premier Darrell Dexter and Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Ramona Jennex welcomed Margaret McCain, at Joseph Howe School in Halifax today, June 26, as she announced the $500,000 grant being issued to help establish the province’s first early years centres.
“As a parent, I know how important it is for families of young children to have a place to go when they have questions and need supports,” said Mr. Dexter. “We are committed to providing Nova Scotia’s children with the best start in life, and the establishment of these centres will help make that happen.”
Under its Early Childhood Centre Initiative, the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family foundation has committed to providing $100,000 per year, for the next five years to go toward establishing early years centres.
“We are pleased to partner with the government of Nova Scotia as it creates the first tier of life-long learning,” said Ms. McCain. “The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development has the important task of turning a service patchwork into a comprehensive system for young children and their families while keeping a link to a powerful asset--public education.”
In April, the province announced the establishment of three early years centres across the province that will provide support for young children and their families at accessible locations in the community. These centres will build on the highly successful SchoolsPlus model and will help bring seamless access to regulated child care, early learning programs, early intervention and parent education.
“I am very thankful for the support from the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation Inc.,” said Ms. Jennex. “The first six years of a child’s life are vitally important to development, so it’s crucial that families have access to the best care and programs needed for their child. The establishment of early years centres will build on the success of current resources and help create a well-integrated system.
The three site locations will be announced in the coming months.
The Provincial Early Years Partnership (PEYP) was also announced. The committee consists of representatives from government and non-government organizations from child care, education, health sectors with a shared focus on early childhood development. The PEYP will work in partnership with the newly created Early Years Branch as it charts a quality system for early childhood development in Nova Scotia.
“I’m excited to working with the Early Years Branch,” said Gerard Kysela, Board Vice Chair of the Early Intervention Association of Nova Scotia. “Integration of services for children, from before birth to age 6 and their families, is important to optimizing the developmental outcome for young children, and providing strong supports for families and communities.”
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