Minding the Children While the Parents Learn
Everyone benefits when parents can take part in programs that strive to build financial knowledge and skills. Many parents, however, especially single parents, are unable to participate due to a lack of child care.
West Central Women’s Resource Centre’s (WCWRC) innovative Child Minding Program helps reduce this barrier and makes it possible for other community programs to provide child care, while also offering supportive employment opportunities. Participants in the program receive free training and learn to provide safe, fun and interactive care for children.
Over 40 community agencies access the service, including SEED. WCWRC’s child minders ensure children are cared for during SEED’s Money Management Training sessions.
Many of the women who work in this program have been out of the workforce for many years, or have never worked outside the home. Many are newcomers with lower levels of English and most live on low-incomes. At WCWRC, women are able receive free employment skills training, work experience, and fair wages to earn extra money for their families.
“For many of these women,” explains Jenn Bogoch, Manager of Asset Building Programs, “this job is the first time their children and grandchildren have seen them in the workplace. You can see the pride in their eyes. These women are demonstrating responsibility, agency and building self-esteem.”
The biggest impact is confidence. These women are learning a skill, gaining experience and doing a job well.
Fiona Muldrew coordinates the child minding program at WCWRC and sees the huge impact of the program firsthand. “The biggest impact is confidence. These women are learning a skill, gaining experience and doing a job well.”
Fiona adds that several women go on to post-secondary education in childcare, and many gain permanent jobs in daycare centres around Winnipeg. “The women learn to do something really well and become more independent. They are learning skills and strategies that can be applied with their own children.”
“WCWRC’s Child Minding program is a perfect example of Community Economic Development in action,” says Jenn. “Resources circulate back into the economy to provide training and employment for low-income women, who in turn are able to provide child minding for our participants so that they can attend SEED programs.”