Hola, Selam, Zdravo: Region of Waterloo aims to provide cultural and linguistically diverse child care
The Region of Waterloo is launching a project aimed at offering child care programs in more languages.
Claudia Rodrigues is part of The Language and Mentorship Program pilot which allows caregivers with diverse first languages other than English to become contractors with the existing Home Child Care Program.
Rodrigues has jumped over linguistic barriers to now run her own licensed home day care and is able to speak to her clients and their children in their preferred first language.
“Thanks to this program, I’ve achieved my dream of having my own home based child care and taking care of wonderful and lovely children," she said in a release.
“Access to high-quality child care is essential for families in our community,” Regional Chair Karen Redman added. “This new program will enable parents to have access to care that is sensitive to their cultural and linguistic preferences, as well as increase the number of quality licensed care spots in our community.”
According to regional officials, the new program has several objectives including:
- Increase the diversity of caregivers
- Encouraging caregivers towards professional accreditation in the future
- Provide caregivers with reduced isolation, increased knowledge of small business operation, and professional mentorship
The Language and Mentorship Program is part of the Region’s Equity Investment Fund worth $15 million.
The fund aims to improve the economic, social, and cultural health and well-being of Indigenous, Black, racialized, and marginalized groups who experience discrimination and exclusion in Waterloo Region.