Prevention is also about getting all of our children off to the right start so that happy and healthy childhoods lay the foundation for healthy and productive adults. Every year there are over 700 births in the NWT or about two babies every day. This Budget makes several investments that will put those little ones on the best possible footing.
This year the GNWT invested over $1 million in early childhood development. As part of this, work is underway for a renewed framework for early childhood development in the NWT, a public awareness campaign and the opening of Child and Family Resource Centres in two communities. This investment in promoting healthy childhoods will continue in 2013-14.
We know that support for mothers during pregnancy and childbirth contributes significantly to how well their children do later on. Midwifery services can be an important component of this support. This Budget invests $449,000 as a first step to expand access to midwifery care throughout the NWT. This investment will stabilize Fort Smith's Midwifery Program, establish a set of program standards, engage communities on expanding the program further, and support planning activities for a Hay River Community Midwifery Program.