Family and Community Services

Early Childhood Development Agenda presented (05/01/20)

NB 54

Jan. 20, 2005

FREDERICTON (CNB) - Increased funding in day care services in New Brunswick is one of the highlights of the provincial government's fourth report on the Early Childhood Development Agenda, presented today by Family and Community Services Minister Tony Huntjens.

"I am pleased to report that in 2002-2003, we increased funding to improve the working conditions and training of staff in the province's day care centres," Huntjens said. "We increased opportunities for children with special needs to attend full-time day care. We also provided funding to improve the health of pregnant women and their newborns, and we supported mothers and young children living in transition houses."

Huntjens also said that the Province funded a wide range of community initiatives to support young children and their families, and offered community-based services to help prevent language problems in preschool children.

"The successes within this report provide us with an opportunity to acknowledge the tremendous commitment and hard work of staff, our government and community partners in improving the lives of New Brunswick's young children," he said.

The report, entitled "Greater Opportunities for New Brunswick Children: an Early Childhood Development Agenda", provides information on investments in the healthy development of the province's young children. It also outlines the expenditures in the important area of early learning and child care.

This report includes a progress update on Phase II of the Early Childhood Development Agenda; a baseline of the provincial activities and expenditures in early learning and child care in 2002/2003; and a second look at a number of indicators of well-being for the province's preschool children.

"The government has made young children and their families a priority, and we are committed to continuing our investment in programs and services supporting early childhood development," Huntjens said.

The report is available online at: http://www.gnb.ca/0017/Children/ECDInvestment-e.pdf.

05/01/20

MEDIA CONTACT: Robert Duguay, communications, Family and Community Services, 506-444-3684.

05/01/20