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Thursday, October 30, 2014
Saskatchewan

CHILDREN BENEFIT FROM FEDERAL-PROVINCIAL AGREEMENT

The federal government will transfer $2.2 billion to the provinces over the

next five years for Early Childhood Development Programs under an agreement

reached at the First Ministers Conference in Ottawa.



The agreement calls for Saskatchewan to receive $10.5 million in the 2001/2002

fiscal year, $13 million the following year and $16.5 million in each of the

final three years. Social Services Minister Harry Van Mulligen made the

announcement today while touring Regina's Four Directions Community Health

Centre with Human Resources Development Minister Jane Stewart.



"This historic agreement provides us with an opportunity to continue building

on the Early Childhood Development focus in the Saskatchewan Action Plan for

Children," Van Mulligen said.



Van Mulligen identified programs for children up to three years old, high risk

children, particularly those with fetal alcohol syndrome or fetal alcohol

effect (FAS/FAE), and the enhancement of existing programs as first priorities

for new funding. Details of how the money will be spent will be shared in the

next provincial budget. In the interim, the province will work with the

existing structure of the Action Plan for Children to develop the details of

the plan.



"The early years are critical in the development of a child, establishing the

foundation for the quality of that child's life," Stewart said. "This new

funding will help all Canadian children achieve their unique potential."



"This agreement builds on the momentum the federal, provincial and territorial

governments started with the National Children's Agenda and the National Child

Benefit."



While the agreement provides provinces and territories the flexibility to spend

the money in accordance with their own Early Childhood Development priorities,

programs will fall under one or more of the following areas:



Promotion of healthy pregnancy, birth and infancy (for example, prenatal

information and infant screening for FAS/FAE).



Improving parenting and family supports (for example, family resource

centres);



Strengthening early childhood development and care (for example,

preschools, child care, targeted developmental programs); and



Strengthen community supports (for example, community-based planning and

service integration).



The jurisdictions also committed to work together to report annually on

progress made under this initiative.



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For more information contact:



Doug Wakabayashi Maureen McLellan

Social Services Manager, Communications

Regina Human Resources Development Canada

Phone: (306) 787-8689 Regina, Phone: (306) 780-6249
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