Province Announces New Funding for Innovation in Early Childhood Development

Submitted by WPRC on September 28, 2016 - 11:04am
Investment Will Support Winnipeg Boldness Project: Wishart

News Release from the Government of Manitoba, September 26 2016:

Manitoba’s new government is providing additional funding for the Early Childhood Development Innovation Fund (ECDIF) to continue support of a community-led initiative focused on creating opportunities for young children and families in the Point Douglas community, Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart announced today.

“We are making this investment because we know success in life starts with supporting families and mothers during pregnancy and throughout the preschool years,” said Wishart.  “The Winnipeg Boldness Project aims to ensure children have the proper supports and conditions for development at this young age to lay the groundwork for a bright future.”

The Manitoba government established the ECDIF in 2013, which is administered by the United Way of Winnipeg, in partnership with the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and other private and philanthropic investors.  The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation is once again matching the province’s funding, adding an additional $250,000 in 2016.

“Our foundation is committed to Winnipeg Boldness because it is part of the process of reconciliation that needs to happen across this country,” said Stephen Huddart, president and CEO, the McConnell Foundation.  “We hope this will show the way toward improving the lives of Indigenous children and families, and creating a brighter future in which Indigenous and non-Indigenous people thrive in mutually respectful and reciprocal relationships.”

The Winnipeg Boldness Project is a research and development initiative looking at early childhood development in Winnipeg’s north end with the goal of improving outcomes for children and families in this area.  The group analyzes knowledge and ideas collected from the community to identify opportunities for development, and partners with community organizations to help them develop new interventions to bring about change in the community.

“We’ve taken a different approach to innovation,” said Diane Roussin, project director, the Winnipeg Boldness Project.  “We’re focusing on community-centred solutions because we know that the families that live here need to be the driving force of determining what their children need to excel.  With the community taking the lead, and strong partnerships supporting our efforts, we know that we can leverage big change in Point Douglas.”

Wishart joined partners and stakeholders today at Wahbung Abinoonjiiag Inc., a community centre for children and families, to celebrate the first two years of the project with members of the Point Douglas community.  The group also released its two-year progress report.

“This partnership demonstrates our government’s commitment to supporting community-based initiatives that help children in the north end have the best possible start in life,” said Wishart.

Over the past two years, the Winnipeg Boldness Project has been compiling data and designing interventions alongside partner organizations that will help to create real change solutions for the complex challenges in this community, the minister said.

More information about the Winnipeg Boldness Project is available at www.winnipegboldness.ca/.