“We hope that this will be an ongoing process for our community.”
Five new sites are working on rolling out the HIPPY program this fall. All sites have successfully completed the Mothers Matter Centre’s pre-service training. Today, we are introducing our new partner organization Ayas Men Men Child & Family Services. We asked Kelley McReynolds, Executive Director at Squamish Nation, and Manager Alice Baker to share their plans and hopes for their first HIPPY year.
Tell us about your new HIPPY site!
Through our Ayas Men Men Child & Family Services, the Squamish Nation delivers two family programs: The Shewaynewas Family Program, based in North Vancouver; and the Ayas Lam Family Program, based in the Squamish Valley – for parents and their children aged prenatal to 6 years. Our family programs deliver wrap-around support services to our parents and their children.
How many mothers and children will participate in the first year?
We have enrolled 24 families: 12 families in North Vancouver via Shewaynewas and 12 in the Squamish Valley via Ayas Lam.
How has COVID-19 affected the start of the HIPPY program?
COVID-19 does bring its challenges and has contributed to our delay in starting up the program. We need to get tablets, curriculum, and materials ordered to get going with the parents. There is a strong interest from our families. A positive aspect of families being restricted in where they can go outside the home is that they are more likely to follow through with the Home Visitor appointments. Although they may not be “isolated” geographically, we are all experiencing various levels of a “sense of isolation” because of COVID-19. This is going to help our Home Visitors to connect with parents.
How will the HIPPY program benefit the families you are working with?
The HIPPY program is another tool to support our parents in their role as their child’s first and most important teacher. Participating in HIPPY will help build confidence in our parents to lay a foundation to support their child’s learning – not only in their early formative years but also throughout their academic years. The parent-child bond will be strengthened and continue to grow throughout the program.
What are you looking forward to?
We are looking forward to creating the opportunity for our parents to experience what the HIPPY program can bring to their children and their families. We will put processes in place to help parents realize their growth as they progress through the program’s various stages to help build their confidence.
Anything else you would like to add?
We hope that this will be an ongoing process for our community. There is no better advertising than one parent sharing with another how great an experience they had with HIPPY and how it has impacted their role as their child’s teacher.
Thank you for your time, and welcome to the HIPPY family!
The Mothers Matter Centre is the national licensing and monitoring body for all HIPPY sites in Canada. It ensures that all program staff are provided with the monitoring and support, professional education training (in a train-the-trainer format), and performance management processes that contribute to better operations, service, and outcomes for HIPPY participants.