You have a unique relationship with the newcomer parents you work with. For many immigrant parents, you are likely one of their few connections in Canada—and this means you have an important role to play in helping them settle into their new home!
The CNCR recognizes your significant role with newcomer families. When parents come to you for information and assistance, the support you provide helps families adapt to life here in Canada. Many programs already do a great job of providing important information and resources to the immigrant parents they work with, but the new requirements specifically require all CNC programsto provide information on the topics of immunization, allergies/nutrition, settlement and community resources.
CNC programs are required to provide newcomer parents with information about immunization.
The following are great online resources on immunization to provide to parents:
- A Parent’s Guide to Immunization (Samples provided at site visits)
- Online—A downloadable PDF version is available in 13 languages
- Order printed copies—For free printed copies, call: 1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232)
- Immunization schedules and information:
The food safety requirements include informing parents of the food and drinks that are provided to children in the CNC program, and ensuring no child is exposed to anything to which he or she is allergic or has a restriction.
CNC programs are required to help newcomer parents and children understand the meaning of the terms, “food allergy” and “food restriction,” and the impact on the children affected by them. A parent may not have a child with allergies but they need to be aware of allergies and food restrictions as they interact with other children and families.
You can also supply parents with information on good nutrition and appropriate food choices for their children. Recognize that parents are often not able to access the foods that they are used to. As they substitute foods, they may need assistance in understanding food choices in Canada and what makes for a nutritious option.
Information about allergies and nutrition help parents make healthy choices for their family. Here are some “go-to” resources to provide to parents:
- Canada Food Guide
- Your local public health department is another excellent source for information.
You may also find the following helpful:
- Eat Well and Be Active Educational Toolkit
- Eating Well With Canada’s Food Guide: A Resource for Educators and Communicators
- Online—Downloadable resource for educators that provides background information, tips and tools to complement Canada’s Food Guide recommendations.
- Order printed copies—You can order free, printed copies of the guide here or by contacting Publications Health Canada (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Toll free: 1-866-225-0709)
- Nutrition Labeling Educator Section
- Online—Downloadable resources to help educators teach consumers how to use the information on food labels to make informed food choices.
Settlement and Community Resources
CNC programs are required to provide parents with settlement and community resources to support their settlement and help them become more connected to their community. To start, you can provide information about local public libraries, community and family resource centres, and connect them with online resources.
Finding Resources in Your Community
A great way to ease settlement is to introduce families to the larger community in which they live.
- Talk to settlement services in your organization. If you don’t have one, find one close by and get brochures and resources to share
- Check your local library, parks and recreation, and community centres for resources and event lists. Have information about the programs and services offered, including addresses for these locations, on hand to give to parents.
- Various early learning family resource programs and centres are offered in different provinces. The following offer a range of services and supports to children and their caregivers:
- BC Family Resource Programs
- In Alberta Parent Link Centres offer similar services in that province.
- Manitoba Parent Child Coalitions
- Ontario: Early Years Centres
- Nova Scotia Parenting Resource Centres
- New Brunswick Family Resource Centers of New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador Family Resource Centres
Finding Resources Online
There are a number of online sources with great information that can be downloaded and provided to parents.
- Child care:
- All About Child Care— This downloadable brochure, available in 20 languages, helps newcomer parents understand the child care services available to them, and offers a customizable section that allows you to provide more specific information about your program.
- Health and safety:
- Best Start offers health promotion resources for download geared to helping expectant and new parents.
- The New in Canada Parenting Support Series is available for download in multiple languages and covers the following topics: dressing for winter, fire safety, home and safety for children, SIDS, swimming safety, and street safety.
- The Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation’s Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Program offers “Comforting Cards” that you can download in 21 languages.
- Language and speech resources:
- mylanguage.ca helps parents, teachers, childcare workers and service providers understand the personal, social, linguistic and academic reasons for maintaining and protecting home languages.
- Talking Point, based out of the UK provides online multilingual fact sheets on speech and language development in children.
- Schooling and education:
- General parenting:
- The Illinois Early Learning Project website is a source of information on early care and education for parents, caregivers, and teachers of young children. Here you will Multilingual Tip Sheets for download.
- Welcome Here offers parent resource sheets that are available in 14 languages.
- Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS) provides assistance to organizations serving refugees and immigrants so that all newcomer children and youth can reach their potential. They have a selection of parenting resources specifically geared towards newcomer parents.
Still need help?
If, after reviewing this information, you are still in doubt about this requirement, your CMAS consultant can always help!