Families who have children at risk for developmental delays are getting into the program faster with improvements to the early childhood development intervention program.
The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development provided funding to hire new developmental interventionists to address the waitlist after a review of the program, ensuring all families receive service faster.
Before the review and increased support from government this year, more than 300 families were waiting for services. These families are now benefitting from the program and receiving services. New families will be seen within a month of being referred.
“Investments we have made are already leading to an increase in support for early childhood development intervention programs across Nova Scotia,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey. “I am very encouraged we are able to help so many families with the new model of service delivery as part of Nova Scotia’s Action Plan for Education.”
Early childhood development intervention programs are designed to help children and families from the time the child is born, to when they enter school. They also help parents access resources they need to help their children.
Under a new board structure, the Nova Scotia Early Childhood Development Intervention Services Association will deliver services across the province. The new board will work closely to align the programs with the broader early years and public school systems. This will help provide consistency in services across the province.
Board members representing all areas of the province are:
— Gerard Kysela, chair, Ste. Anne du Ruisseau
— Bev Cooke, vice-chair, Amherst
— Krista Thibault, treasurer, Halifax
— Angela Thornhill, secretary, Hammonds Plains
— Theresa Fraboni, Head of St. Margarets Bay
— Sharon Hope Irwin, Sydney
— Normand Carrey, Halifax
— Margaret Ann Green, Glace Bay
— Shirley Shot, Brooklyn, Queens Co.
— Chrissi Lynch, Queensville
— Bill Chisholm, Antigonish
— Marika Holmes, Halifax
— Janean Marshall, Eskasoni
— Suzanne Saulnier, Concessions
— Debra Sundstrom, Centreville
— Kirk Schmidt, New Glasgow
The department also plans to work with First Nations, African Nova Scotian, Acadian and immigrant communities to ensure they are aware of, and access, available services.
By working with local service providers, children will be referred as early as possible so they receive the services they need, when they need them.