News release

$500,000 for Child Care Resource and Referral Services

COMMUNITY SERVICES--$500,000 for Child Care Resource and Referral Services


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.

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Contact:

Menna MacIsaac
Community Services 902-424-5036 E-mail:
Steve Bone
Community Services 902-424-4326 E-mail:

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 pr√©scolaires, 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.