The new lifestyle that COVID-19 has imposed on many families across the globe – one of isolation and limited social interaction – gives us an opportunity to reflect on the tens of thousands of vulnerable mothers and families who already live in isolation in our country. Their reasons might be different – language and cultural barriers rather than health precautions – but there is a shared feeling of anxiety and instability.
At the Mothers Matter Centre, we know that isolation takes a toll on families and the isolation precautions have escalated the necessity for human-centred connections and tactical support services between already isolated mothers and their families and HIPPY Home Visitors. While many of our lives have been impacted by the changing public health guidelines, the impact on the lives of some HIPPY families can be more pronounced and has exacerbated vulnerabilities related to food insecurity, health, lack of access to information, and overall mental health and wellbeing. Without the continuation of support in critical time like this, some may face added challenges as they navigate the pandemic, particularly for newly settled families.
Recognizing the urgent need to sustain contact and support to families during this period of increased isolation, the Mothers Matter Centre and program staff around the country have responded with a creative suite of options, utilizing virtual tools to ensure the ongoing delivery of the core HIPPY program. This includes hard and virtual copies of the parent child curriculum, instructional tools, tutorials on virtual home visiting, and extension parent-child activities (‘Stay ‘N’ Play Series’). The Mothers Matter Centre has provided several options to ensure that Home Visitors have the flexibility to respond to unique family situations regarding access to technology, literacy, and home situations. For more information on the Mothers Matter Centre’s approach to COVID-19, please click here.
As countries around the world continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mothers Matter Centre remains committed to innovating solutions that ensure the most vulnerable communities in Canada receive the support and resources necessary to maintain the wellbeing and health of their families.
The national office is the licensing body of HIPPY and other programs that works with community partners to oversee program implementation, training, and performance management. The national office leads program innovation development and supports public awareness of its programs.
Since our inception, the Mothers Matter Centre has transformed over 42,000 lives. We helped more than 15,000 mothers gain new skills and abilities essential to strengthening mother-child relationships. This means their children and families were better prepared to get the most from their early school experiences.
Multicultural Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) supports the mother as the first and most important teacher of her child while addressing issues that immigrants and refugees confront when they arrive in their new country, such as language and cultural barriers. LEARN MORE
Indigenous Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) works with Indigenous families in land-based and urban communities to build positive experiences in education and to strengthen their capacity to support learning using a culturally relevant curriculum. LEARN MORE
Our newcomer innovations are designed to help refugee families as they integrate themselves into a new society and their children into Canadian schools. We undertake research to understand the challenges that refugee families face on arrival and implement best practices to support refugee families’ settlement. LEARN MORE
Bond to Literacy is a 12-week early literacy program for low-income, disadvantaged families who struggle with issues that may prevent them from making a long-term commitment to the regular HIPPY curriculum. The program is designed to demand less of families while still providing learning tools and support. LEARN MORE
Supporting Mothers and Raising Toddlers (SMART) is designed to support parents of children ages 18 months to three years of age and focuses on fostering healthy early childhood development, increasing connections to community resources, strengthening social networks, and deepening parent-child bonds. LEARN MORE
Adopt-a-Reader is a two-week literacy campaign where HIPPY families “adopt” non-HIPPY families from their community by guiding them through daily activities that focus on parent-child bonding through reading activities. The mother-to-mother community-centred approach allows the campaign to reach even the most isolated families. LEARN MORE
Literacy Plus is a practitioners’ guide to adding adult literacy activities to family service programs. It takes an individualized approach to English language learning and provides mothers with the opportunity to converse in English, allowing them to utilize public service systems and learn new skills that otherwise would have been inaccessible. LEARN MORE
Practicing Citizenship aims increase immigrant women’s participation in Canadian society through a practical, hands-on program in Canadian history and democracy, practical community experience, mentoring and literacy training. Participants make informed decisions about their settlement and improve their understanding of life in Canada. LEARN MORE
Care, Identity, and Inclusion (CII) is a guided community discussion series that supports parents in dialogue about how and when they share their culture with their children. The discussions explore a series of themes such as: how intergenerational cultural sharing preserves values, fosters high-quality family relationships, and contributes to social inclusion. LEARN MORE