CHANCES (Caring, Helping, And Nurturing, Children Every Step)

Organization Sponsor: CHANCES Inc.(Caring, Helping, And Nurturing, Children Every Step)

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Program Description

CHANCES (Caring, Helping, And Nurturing, Children Every Step) exists to provide a range of child development and parent support services to children from 0-11 years and their families, particularly those experiencing additional life challenges. In the provision of a range of comprehensive programs and services. CHANCES Inc. exists to contribute to the wellbeing of children from 0-11 years and their families, particularly those experiencing additional life challenges.

CHANCES offers a broad range of programs that provide a comprehensive continuum of support for young children and their families. CHANCES has a key focus in the following major program areas:

  1. Pre and post natal programs (Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program): Programs offered in this area are to ensure a healthy pregnancy and support the young family with the transition to parenting.
  2. Best Start Program: Best Start is a province wide in-home visiting program for young infants and their families. Every newborn infant on Prince Edward Island is screened and assessed by Public Health Nursing to identify the families who could most benefit from the program.
  3. Early Years Centres / Smart Start: A full range child development, early learning and child care programs offered at five different sites including, Mason Rd; Ferry Rd; West Kent School; St Jean School and Prince St School.
  4. Parenting and child development programs: These programs are most often offered in a group setting to provide parents with additional information and support in relation to parenting.
  5. Smart Play: This is a before and after school program that promotes physical activity and supports that academic progress of the child. Families are also offered access to parenting information and support.

The early years last forever.Dr. Fraser Mustard


Funding Sources: 

CHANCES receives funding through the Public Health Agency of Canada, the province of Prince Edward Island, the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation, Medavie Health Foundation and private donations. In addition, CHANCES offers self-sustaining programs on a fee for service basis for families.

Strategies For Sustainability: 

CHANCES (Caring, Helping, And Nurturing, Children Every Step) is a non-profit, charitable organization. CHANCES is governed by a twelve member volunteer Board of Directors representing parents who participate in programs, as well as representatives from the broader community.

Impact Of Program: 

CHANCES operates a family resource centre that offers a wide range of programs and services for children, parents, and families. These include First Steps, Drop-in Play, Active Parenting, Community Kitchens, Parents Helping Parents, a volunteer program, a toy lending library, and a child development program. Community kitchens are offered in five locations throughout the city. CHANCES assists with transportation and child care and offers additional programs from outreach centres in Stratford and South Rustico.

With family centres in Charlottetown, Stratford and Cornwall, and staff operating at 13 locations throughout P.E.I., CHANCES responds to some 5,000 children and their families each year.

Key Elements Towards Success: 

Key Components of CHANCES

Goals and Objectives:

  • To enhance parents capacity to parent effectively.
  • To provide opportunities to promote healthy child development.
  • Engage in community capacity building utilizing a community development approach.
  • Assist parents in better meeting the needs of their children and families.
  • To continue to build a comprehensive continuum of support for children and families.
  • To provide high quality early childhood development experiences.

The ongoing success of CHANCES Family  Centre is dependent on the commitment and support of parents and community members who are prepared to share their energy, skills and experience.

Length and Stage of Project: 

CHANCES was established in P.E.I. in 1993 with federal funding as part of a national strategy to address child poverty. The program has “evolved and emerged’’ over the years to offer a broad range of programs.

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