Parent Child Centres located in schools can serve as a magnet to attract parents into the school for support regarding basic needs (food, clothing, shelter); social and emotional support; peer and self-help support; advocacy services; parenting supports; cultural supports; language development and interpreter services; literacy and adult education programs; and information about community resources.
The Winnipeg Core Area Initiative supported a successful 5 year pilot project known as the Early Years Project which funded parent child centres in Strathcona and Pinkham schools. The education and child welfare systems were unable to sort out how to scale up and provide long term funding support for this initiative. As a result, the parent child centres were forced to close.
Parent Child Centres located in schools provide a concrete opportunity for the provincial government and school divisions to work in partnership to provide an integrated platform for the delivery of a range of existing programs including:
- Community School Partnership Initiative site based grants
- Community Support Worker/Connector/Coordinator positions funded by school divisions
- Building Student Success with Aboriginal Parents funding
- Aboriginal Academic Achievement funding
- PPP parenting program funding
- Differential response child welfare funding
- Community based literacy funding
A Management Committee will be established to oversee development of Parent Child Centre Initiative; a Program Manager will provide program development, program management, and training and mentoring support to the local parent child centres; each site will develop a local board of directors, a centre director, and hire local parents as interns.
Issues like student attendance could be seen as an early warning system to support families on a range of levels by providing informal community supports, self-help and peer supports, and differential response child and family service supports.
The Province announced funding for Parent Child Centres for four schools – Dufferin, Shaughnessy Park, The Pas and Grand Rapids in March, 2009. CEDA is working in partnership with the Province of Manitoba and local school divisions to implement this initiative in 2010. The goal will be to incrementally add 3 new Parent Child Centres in schools each year for the next 2 years. CEDA provides strategic planning, program development and administrative supports for this initiative.