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Child, Youth and Family Services
Human Resources, Labour and Employment
May 24, 2011

Funding Provided to Expand Healthy Baby Club

With an additional annual investment of $34,000 from the Provincial Government, the Healthy Baby Club is expanding to include Port aux Basques, Codroy Valley and the Coastal Community Region of southwestern Newfoundland. As a result of this latest investment, a total of approximately $84,000 is now being provided annually through the Poverty Reduction Strategy to support the Healthy Baby Club throughout communities in southwestern Newfoundland.

“I am delighted our department is supporting the Community Action Committee of Southwestern Newfoundland, through their family resource program, which provides an array of services including the Healthy Baby Club,” said the Honourable Charlene Johnson, Minister of Child, Youth and Family Services. “Our government is committed to programs like the Healthy Baby Club that focus on prenatal nutrition and healthy birth outcomes. We certainly understand the importance of providing expectant and new mothers with support and education for a healthy pregnancy, and in the care of their new babies.”

The Healthy Baby Club provides small group sessions, home visits, and peer support to those expectant women who need extra support during and after their pregnancy. The program provides food supplements to eligible women, prenatal and nutritional education, information on infant care and healthy living during and after pregnancy, and promotes breastfeeding.

“One of the key focus areas of the Poverty Reduction Strategy is an increased emphasis on early childhood development,” said the Honourable Darin King, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment and Lead Minister for the Poverty Reduction Strategy. “Provincial Government support for the Healthy Baby Club is a good example of our commitment to giving children a good start, and I am confident this investment will make a very positive impact in the areas where the Health Baby Club is expanding.”

In addition to this most recent expansion, the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services provided funding in the past to expand the program to Stephenville, Ship Cove, on the Port au Port Peninsula, and St. George’s.

“I am pleased that the Healthy Baby Club will be available to women in the Codroy Valley,” said the Honourable Joan Burke, Minister of Education and MHA for St. George’s-Stephenville East. “Early intervention, through programs such as the Healthy Baby Club, plays an important role in preventing pregnancy complications and promoting the healthy development of infants and children in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

The Healthy Baby Club was initiated in the southwestern region in 1996 with the Port au Port Healthy Baby Club, sponsored by the Community Action Committee for Southwestern Newfoundland. This funding from the Provincial Government is in addition to funding that is provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

“Many women have a lot of questions during pregnancy, especially first-time mothers, and can benefit from the additional services and supports provided through the Healthy Baby Club while they are expecting and after the baby arrives,” said Sharon Park, Chairperson with the Community Action Committee for Southwestern Newfoundland. “The Healthy Baby Club helps to strengthen community support for mothers and ensure the best possible start for infants.”

Budget 2011 – Standing Strong: For Prosperity. For Our Future. For Newfoundland and Labrador affirms the Provincial Government’s funding commitment to children, youth and families with an additional $9.2 million investment into the department, bringing the total investment to $33 million in just two years.

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Media contacts:

Andrea Nolan
Director of Communications
Department of Child, Youth and
Family Services
709-729-5148, 725-1593
Bradley Power
Director of Communications
Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
709-729-0753, 699-5707

Janine Carter
Constituency Assistant for the
Honourable Joan Burke
MHA for St. George’s-Stephenville East
Sharon Park
Community Action Committee for Southwestern Newfoundland

2011 05 24             1:25 p.m.

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