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The province is investing $444,000 to fund the third phase of a project aimed at improving the quality of service for all children in the province's child care facilities.
For the last three years, the Opening the Door to Quality Childcare and Development program has actively promoted and supported the best practices of high quality and inclusive child care services in various regions of the province.
The first two phases involved 60 child care facilities in four regions of the province: Edmundston, Fredericton, Moncton and Miramichi. The project's third phase will target 30 more child care facilities in Saint John, Bathurst and the Acadian Peninsula.
"The evaluation of phase I of Opening the Door to Quality Childcare and Development indicated that quality has improved in the participating child care facilities," said Krista Carr, executive director of the New Brunswick Association for Community Living.
The greatest improvements, she said, came in the areas of children's program activities, health and safety practices and language communication.
This next phase will also focus on the sustainability of the quality gains made within child care facilities through a mentoring process with previous participants. A two-day forum on inclusion practices will also be held this year. An early childhood training guide containing strategies for inclusion and quality will also be developed.
The initiative pays for a project coordinator and two project consultants who visit child care centres at three different intervals over an 18-month period, to train and assist child care staff in developing and maintaining best practices for supporting all children in early childhood environments.
"The New Brunswick government is pleased to be able to support such a worthwhile initiative," Family and Community Services Minister Tony Huntjens said. "Our children are our most precious resource, and this project helps childcare staff to participate in full and meaningful ways to improve the quality of their child care facilities."
- reprinted from the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal