Standards allow a program and its staff to deliver quality services consistently. They also help families understand important policy and safety requirements. While existing standards for most programs meet the needs of the general population, newcomer children and their families have unique needs.
CMAS can help you build standards that facilitate maximum responsiveness to the immigrant and refugee families you serve. We can review existing practices, identify barriers to access, and work to refine services. We bring expertise in welcoming newcomer children and families, staff training on working with immigrants, and setting up environments to suit multicultural families.
Drawing on leading research and field studies in immigrant child care, we can help you develop best practices that are appropriate for your organizational culture. CMAS can also assist you in meeting already established standards and with program assessment. We can further support your programs through the creation of associated custom resources, including forms, templates and sample documents.
CMAS Experience in Action: Occasional Child Care Requirements
In 2006, organizations that serve newcomers were facing a challenge. There was a need for settlement supports in the community, but immigrant and refugee women were consistently unable to participate. As the primary caregivers for their children, they lacked the child care needed to allow them to attend workshops, trainings sessions, or even counseling.
CMAS was asked to expand existing childminding services in Ontario, and develop a model for the delivery, standards and support of a new kind of care: Occasional Child Care (OCC).
CMAS put together a team of researchers, practitioners and child care experts to consult with stakeholders and programs that would benefit from this kind of child care support. Then, the team designed a turn-key child care model and brought it back to the sector to get their input and feedback.
The process then included risk management research, drafting health and safety requirements, identifying and estimating costs associated with start up and ongoing operations, sector training, and implementation of plans for site evaluation and continued support.
The team not only built a turn-key child care model for the safe start up of OCC, but also created handbooks for staff and a tool kit that allowed programs easy access to required resources. Training was designed and delivered to staff across the province, with positive evaluation from over 90% of participants, and in the end, OCC successfully allowed countless newcomer parents to access valuable settlement services—all while their children were being cared for in a safe and positive environment.