The Mothers Matters Centre will function as a virtual, national consortium of like-minded organizations who share a common mission. We are dedicated to serving socially isolated and low economic status mothers and their families using our proven mother-to-mother approach. We will continue to grow and sustain our flagship Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program and develop other innovative programs addressing housing assistance, job-skills training, literacy and language training, healthcare, and more.
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.
Poverty, low literacy and social isolation are linked and, together, they hurt children. More than 1.5 million women in Canada are living on a low income. That means that one in every five children live in poverty. From birth, many of our children will have the cards stacked against them.
Across Canada, 50% of status First Nations children live in poverty, a figure that increases to 62% in Manitoba and 64% in Saskatchewan. http://www.canadianwomen.org/facts-about-women-and-poverty.
The Mothers Matter Centre is designed to change these social conditions.
Movement for Canadian Literacy argues that:
• Low literacy, poverty and exclusion are all part of the same problem. Children from low-income families are at risk of having low rates of literacy.
• Children from low-income families are burdened with labels and expectations that hinder their academic performance.
• Children from families living on low incomes are twice as likely to drop out of school as their non-poor counterparts.
• Low-income parents often lack the skills and capacity to advocate for their children in the school system.
• Families whose parents had one to eight years of formal education faced three times the probability of living in poverty
Poverty costs Canada between $72 and $84 billion annually; Ontarians pay $2,299-$2,895 per year, while British Columbians pay over $2,100 per year. http://www.cwp-csp.ca/poverty/just-the-facts.
Poverty affects quality of life, including health: the 2008 National Population Health Survey found that 73% of Canadians with high incomes reported their health as excellent, compared to 47% of Canadians with the lowest level of incomes.
This study also reported that the total economic cost in Ontario, when private and public (or social) costs were combined, is equal to 5.5 to 6.6 percent of Ontario’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). http://www.oafb.ca/assets/pdfs/CostofPoverty.pdf
Since our inception, the Mothers Matter Centre has helped more than 14,000 mothers gain new skills and abilities essential to strengthening mother-child relationships. This means at least 14,000 children were better prepared to get the most from their early school experiences, and close to 30,000 lives have been positively impacted.
The Mothers Matter Centre and the HIPPY site across rely largely on government sources of funding and to a lesser extent private sector donations.
The Mothers Matter Centre is proposing a formal curriculum with an accredited university to train Home Visitors in how to deliver services in a variety of areas including health and mental health, early literacy, gender bias, family violence, and settlement.
We are engaged in a series of adaptations of the HIPPY program to serve refugees.