My question is also for the Canadian Child Care Federation.
I really appreciated your presentation. I totally agree with the title of your presentation, “Accessible, Affordable Child Care: The Key to Helping Canadians and Canadian Businesses Be More Productive and Competitive”. I represent a riding with a large aboriginal population. I think that really applies well there.
In our aboriginal communities, we have many times the social problems that other Canadians are facing in the cities and their communities. We really need to recognize that, to deal with these issues, we have to be able to do more with aboriginal young families and young children.
We've had an aboriginal head start program that has been in the system for quite a few years now. It has not expanded, has not had new mandates, and really hasn't been resourced well over the years, yet there is a real need in our communities for early intervention with young pregnant mothers while the child is still in the womb. We need to make sure the babies are born healthy. We need to have parent outreach. We need to have people visiting the homes. We need to have a good health promotion campaign. We need to ensure that we focus on culture and language.
There are so many things that are out there that the aboriginal head start program doesn't have under its responsibilities yet. It should. I would like to see it expanded to an aboriginal head start and family resource centre, so that we can help to give the proper head start to our young children and families in all our aboriginal communities.
I'd like to know what you think about that whole concept. I've heard a lot of people bring it up, and I think it's a good one.