In March ’09, TVO and HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) to deliver literacy programming, targeted to newcomer children and families. This week, the federal government has funded HIPPY to develop and deliver “culturally sensitive programs” for immigrant children.
The funding (around $3M from Citizenship and Immigration Canada and $300,000 from Human Resources and Skills Development) will be used to “increase Canadian content” in the HIPPY curriculum and expand programs across Canada.
The Federal government might consider increasing funding to the child care portion of their own LINC program (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada). LINC provides language training and settlement support to adults, and provides what’s called “childminding” for children of LINC students. The childminders, many of whom are Early Childhood Educators, and therefore trained in promoting language and literacy development (including having a unique understanding of the importance of retaining the home language while learning a new language) are among the first points of contact to Canadian society for immigrant children and are well positioned to work with LINC instructors, who work with parents. Now, that’s a partnership that could support integration.