Early Childhood Initiatives
The two Regional Health Authorities provide Early Childhood Initiatives services.
Early Childhood Initiatives offer prenatal services that foster healthy pregnancy, and postnatal services that promote the healthy development of children from birth to age 5 years. Among the services included are screening, home visiting, provision of nutritional supplements and referral.
Participation is voluntary for all services. Potential clients may self-refer, be referred by a professional, or by a third party. Eligibility criteria exist for some of the Early Childhood Initiatives programs and individuals are assessed when services are requested.
Early Childhood Initiatives is a group of seven prevention-focused health and social service programs that span a variety of services fostering the health and development of young children from the prenatal stage to school entry.
Prenatal women eligible for services are offered individualized sessions based on the client's identified needs and focusing on a healthy pregnancy, and healthy choices and healthy lifestyles. Some women may also qualify for nutritional supplements. Referral to additional government or community services is done in collaboration with the client to address concerns that go beyond the program's scope.
Postnatal services focus on fostering healthy growth and development of infants and children; enhancing parenting abilities; nurturing family resiliency; and increasing community capacity. Eligible families may receive nutritional supplements for a limited period of time following the birth of a newborn. Services may be provided in a number of venues including in the client's home. Referral to additional services is done in collaboration with the parent or guardian in response to a particular need of the child.
Screening at the 3.5 Year Old Health Clinic provides the opportunity for the parent or guardian to discuss the child's growth and developmental milestones with a Public Health nurse and to obtain information on healthy choices relevant to young children.
For more information regarding Early Childhood Initiatives services in your area use the Related Links provided.