Grant gives momentum to Peel Health Strategic Priority
Nurturing the Next Generation awarded Knowledge Synthesis Grant
BRAMPTON, ON. (February 7, 2011) – The Nurturing the Next Generation Project Team at Peel Public Health was elated to learn they had been awarded one of the coveted Canadian Institute for Health Research Knowledge Synthesis Grants. “This grant opens the door to starting our research into the public health interventions that will have the most impact on early child development, from the prenatal period to the end of a baby’s first year,” said Family Health Director Anne Fenwick.
The grant, valued at $96,000, and its related activities will be overseen by Dr. Brenda Smith-Chant of Trent University, together with Peel Health staff and a team of experts: Dr. Stuart Shanker, York University; Dr. Nicole Letourneau, University of New Brunswick, and Dr. Jim Dunn, McMaster University.
When the report Staying ahead of the curve: Peel Public Health’s 10-year strategic plan was released in 2009, it identified early child development as a strategic priority for Peel Public Health. “There are 17,000 children being born annually in the Region of Peel and while the Region and community are delivering a wide variety of programs, the complexity and diversity of the Peel population present unique challenges,” says Ms. Fenwick.
She cites the results of the Early Development Index, which reveal that a disproportionate number of Peel children score in the lowest 10th percentile in one or more of the domains included in the survey. “In order for children in Peel (and elsewhere) to get the best start in life, a solid foundation must be established from the earliest period of development,” says Ms. Fenwick.
The Nurturing the Next Generation Strategic Priority will focus on three family life stages: preconception, the prenatal period and infancy up to one year of age. “Our goals with the program,” says Project Manager Judy Buchan, “are first to learn about the key factors that are inhibiting the positive development of Peel’s children and then strive to create suitable and sustainable environments that will make a difference.”
The project was officially launched today, February 7, 2011, at the Region of Peel Family Health Division meeting at the Coptic Centre. Dr. Brenda Smith-Chant presented her findings from a literature review of early childhood development models.