$500,000 for Child Care Resource and Referral Services

Department of Community Services

November 20, 2002 10:31 AM

Young Nova Scotians are growing up great through Early Childhood
Development initiatives. The province announced the allocation of
$500,000 to establish 10 Child Care Resource and Referral
Services across the province today, Nov. 20, National Child Day.

"We're providing more options for child care and supports for
Nova Scotia families," said Community Services Minister Peter
Christie. "Child Care Resource and Referral Services provide for
local child-care planning and the provision of new services to
meet the unique needs of both urban and rural communities."

Child Care Resource and Referral Services have long been
established throughout many parts of Canada and the United
States. The Healthy Child Development Initiatives Steering
Committee recommended starting Child Care Resource and Referral
Services in Nova Scotia.

The department will contract with 10 existing family and early-
childhood-support programs around the province to begin offering
Child Care Resource and Referral Services. Locations reflect the
need and populations of the communities served. Each site will
receive $50,000 to hire a co-ordinator and to meet technology and
administrative requirements.

"The ultimate goal is to enhance quality child care for
everyone," said Joyce Beaudry, director, Memory Lane Family
Place. "Child Care Resource and Referral Services provide local
solutions to the unique needs of local communities and address
recruitment, parent referral and a range of support services to
both care-providers and parents."

The government of Canada has committed $2.2 billion to fund Early
Childhood Development programs across the country over a five-
year period that began in 2001. The funding is allocated to
provinces and territories based on population. Each province or
territory determines how its money will be distributed. Nova
Scotia's portion is $66 million.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     The provincial government has announced 500-thousand dollars

in funding for Child Care Resource and Referral Services to mark

National Child Day.

     Community Services Minister Peter Christie says Child Care

Resource and Referral Services help parents find quality child

care and other services for their young children.

     The funding is the latest phase of the Early Childhood

Development Agreement, a five-year, two-point-two-billion-dollar

federal/provincial/territorial program.

     Nova Scotia's portion is 66-million dollars.

-30-

Contact: Menna MacIsaac
         Community Services
         902-424-5036
         E-mail: macisam@gov.ns.ca

         Steve Bone
         Community Services
         902-424-4326
         E-mail: bonesp@gov.ns.ca

BACKGROUNDER: Child Care Resource and Referral Services

The purpose of Child Care Resource and Referral Services is to
enhance and improve the quality and accessibility of a range of
child-care options for families in Nova Scotia. The services
provide for local child-care planning and the provision of new
services to meet the unique needs of urban and rural communities.
These services assist caregivers and parents with opportunities
for training, access to information and support on child care-
related matters.

Services to parents include:
-- referrals to local caregivers and other child-care services,
access to information and both parent and caregiver training;
-- planning and development of expanded child-care services as a
means of increasing parents' participation in the workforce;
-- access to information on choosing quality child care and other
community resources, for example, recreation and respite
programs;
-- access to information on other community resources; and
-- the promotion of services to families with children who need
extra support, including transportation.

Services to caregivers include:

-- the provision of information on quality child care;
-- networking opportunities and newsletters;
-- workshops and training on child development, program planning,
family child care and other topics;
-- start-up and operating consultation and information;
-- access to low-cost liability insurance;
-- supportive home visits;
-- access to child-care resources such as infant/toddler
equipment, toys and library materials; and
-- referrals to community resources.

Services to communities include:
-- improved availability and accessibility of child care,
including seasonal, extended hours, emergency, francophone or
multicultural child care;
-- promotion of community awareness of child care issues,
including public education on quality child care; and
-- a communication link between all levels of government,
caregivers, families and communities.

Implementation Strategy:

The Department of Community Services will contract with 10
existing family support programs around the province for the
start-up of Child Care Resource and Referral services. Policy
respecting this service delivery model will guide the development
of the programs. The suggested locations for the services reflect
the identified need and population of the communities served.

The proposed sites are:
-- Kings County Family Resource Centre, Kentville;
-- Family Matters, Annapolis County Family Resource Centre,
Annapolis Royal;
-- Parents' Place Yarmouth Family Resource Centre, Yarmouth;
-- Le Centre provincial de ressources préscolaires, Pointe-de-
l'Eglise;
-- Institute for Human Services Education, Truro;
-- Maggie's Place Cumberland Family Resource Centre, Amherst;
-- Eastern Shore Family Resource Association, West Jeddore and
Musquodoboit Valley Family Resource Centre, Middle Musquodoboit
(shared funding);
-- Memory Lane Family Place, Lower Sackville;
-- LEA Place Women's Resource Centre, Sheet Harbour; and
-- Cape Breton's Family Resource Coalition Society, Sydney.

Each resource and referral site will receive $50,000 to hire a
co-ordinator, upgrade information technology and provide for
administrative start-up costs. The sites have been selected to
ensure equitable geographic distribution of this service
throughout the province.

Funding Allocation:
Ten sites at $50,000 each equals $500,000, which will be
distributed to develop Child Care Resource and Referral Services
for their communities.


Kjd         November 20, 2002        10:28 A.M.