CHANCES (“Caring, Helping, and Nurturing, Children Every Step) is a non-profit, charitable organization in Prince Edward Island. The organization was founded over 27 years ago to provide parent information sessions in addition to pre- and post-natal programs. It has grown province wide to include ten licensed centres and a family health clinic that supports upwards of 500 local families.
In 2012, CHANCES partnered with the Margaret and Wallace McCain Foundation to complete a six-year research project that documented the impact of expanding access to early childhood services focused on at-risk families. This important project was the model for Prince Edward Island’s universal ECE program for 4-year-olds.
We had a chance to speak with Ann Robertson, Executive Director at CHANCES, who provided her thoughts on PEI’s new $121.3 million early learning and child care agreement. “This agreement for ECE is a significant investment in high-quality care for children. It means wage increases, which will improve the quality of ECE educators. It also means more spaces, which allows for improved accessibility. Most importantly, it means affordability. Right now, only parents who can afford ECE in the province are able to get in. What this means is those that likely need it the most are not able to access it, which contributes to the widening of a learning gap for our children.”