By Grace Da Costa, Supervisor, Louise Dean Centre (Parent/Child Learning Centre & CACY), Catholic Family Service

National Child Day is celebrated annually in Canada on November 20 in honour of two historic events: the 1959 signing of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.

This year we celebrate the theme, “All children have the right to be safe.” Whether you have children, work with children, or know a child, November 20 is the special day that we set aside to recognize children and their rights.

There are many ways to contribute to making our world and our communities a better and safer place for children. Take time today to spend quality time with a child. Enrich a child’s life by giving them unconditional love, positive experiences and protection, and by empowering them to be the decision makers of the future, because they are our future.

Every single small child matters and deserves to be protected and safe. It is our duty as a nation to support the rights of all children, to celebrate the child, and to keep them all safe, whatever their race, religion and abilities, and whatever type of family they come from.

At the Parent-Child Learning Centre at Louise Dean Centre and the Child-Minding Program at the Calgary Achievement Centre for Youth (CACY), we focus on the safety and well-being of children every day.

These programs are much more than child-care centres – we work alongside teenaged parents to help them develop a strong attachment and nurturing relationship with their child.

Using developmental stages and brain research as teaching tools, we help young parents take an active role in their child’s healthy development, while increasing their knowledge and confidence. Babies and toddlers receive exceptional care and the positive stimulation needed to improve their learning, behavior and overall health.

We will be celebrating National Child Day today – and wearing the colour blue with pride. How about you?

(with thanks to Michelle Pierini for her assistance with this blog post)

For more information about the specialized child care programs at Catholic Family Service, please call Grace Da Costa at 403.205.8511.