Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation partner with Government of New Brunswick to demonstrate integrate children’s centres
FREDERICTON (CNB) – Five new early childhood development centre demonstration sites are being developed in Centreville, Keswick, Millville, Perth-Andover and Richibucto as part of a three-year pilot project to provide integrated services and supports for young children and their parents, Social Development Minister Kelly Lamrock announced today.
These demonstration sites are receiving start-up grants from the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation and are in addition to the four government-funded demonstration sites announced last year in Bath, Moncton, Robertville and Saint John.
The Government of New Brunswick is partnering with the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation to provide support and guidance to the nine communities that are developing and implementing demonstration sites. These sites will test early childhood centres as a way to better integrate existing early childhood services and supports for young children and their parents.
“We expect to achieve seamless programming for children and parents through effective integration of kindergarten, early learning and child care programs, parenting support services and community resources,” said Lamrock. “This investment in high quality early learning and child care will have an impact on building a strong foundation for a child’s ongoing learning and development, which impacts the extent to which he or she will succeed.”
The Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation is sponsoring the evaluation with a $500,000 grant. The Health and Education Research Group (HERG), based out of the University of New Brunswick and l’Université de Moncton, will be evaluating the pilot project.
Community networks in each of the five sites are working toward having a team of staff delivering core programming to parents and children. Depending on the location, the demonstration sites will eventually offer additional programming based on local community needs. Services offered may include toy and resource lending libraries, healthy lifestyle programs, community kitchens as well as immunization and 3.5 year-old clinics.
“The McCain Family Foundation is proud to invest in high quality early learning and child care as we all must work together to ensure the best possible supports and services are easily available to children and parents,” said Carol Loughrey, board member of the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation.
Ideally the goal is to have the five demonstration sites located within each community’s school as the school is often the hub of the community and is known to parents and caregivers. This will also facilitate the transition to school for children attending these demonstration sites.
“Early learning opportunities are as important as K-12 learning,” said Lamrock. “Our government recognizes this, and that is why the action plan for Be Ready for Success: A 10 year early childhood strategy for New Brunswick includes more affordable spaces, in early learning facilities with a strong curriculum and educators who are trained and treated as professionals.”
Establishing these five additional development centre demonstration sites is also part of Overcoming Poverty Together: The New Brunswick Economic and Social Inclusion Plan.
Remarks by Carol Loughrey, board member, Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation at the event in Carlton County, New Brunswick marking the Foundation-Government partnership supporting the development of five new integrated children’s centres.
MEDIA CONTACT: Nichole Bowman, communications, Department of Social Development, 506-457-7857; Kerry McCuaig, communications, Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation, 647-295-2808