Excerpts from news release:
Early Investment in Child Development Offers Lifelong Benefits: Chief
The Manitoba government is launching a provincial dialogue on supporting families through early childhood development, Children and Youth Opportunities Minister Kevin Chief announced today.
"Research shows that what happens during the early years can strongly influence a child's success in school and in life," said Chief. "We all have a role to play in making sure we provide the best possible opportunities for our children, so we're asking Manitobans to join the conversation by attending a public meeting or sharing their comments online."
The first public meeting was held today at the Aboriginal Centre of Winnipeg and was attended by more than 250 parents, grandparents and children. The minister will go across the province over the next few months to meet with Manitobans about early childhood development and the supports available to them. The minister will also meet with various stakeholders including leaders from the Aboriginal community and the business sector.
"This is the beginning of a golden moment in Manitoba where the tremendous science available on the importance of the early years has been recognized and embraced by leaders in the community, the provincial government and the business sector," said Ian Gill and Ric Young of The Boldness Project. "These connections can transform the ways in which young children and their families are supported and served in the inner city."
"As an expectant mother, I know firsthand how these programs are already helping me and my family," said Wendy Hallgrimson, youth co-ordinator, Winnipeg Aboriginal Sport Achievement Centre. "I came out to this gathering and invited everyone I know because I want more families to connect with their communities and learn what services are available, as well as share their ideas on how we can work together do more."
"We're listening to Manitobans to get their ideas on how to strengthen our early years strategy," said Chief. "By working together, families, communities and the provincial government can make a difference and give our kids a better start."
For information on upcoming meetings, visit the government website.