Children and families are given the opportunity to engage with the arts

The Community Arts and Music Programs (CAMP) is one of the many programs at the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts that has helped transform arts engagement in Ocean County.

The Community Arts and Music Programs (CAMP)

The Community Arts and Music Programs (CAMP)

TOMS RIVER, N.J.Sept. 29, 2022PRLog — “The coolest thing just happened in this room… and everybody saw it,” said the Amazing Max Darwin. “If you [the audience] just saw a beautiful young lady floating in the air, please raise your hand [hands go up all around the theatre]. You were FLOATING [pointing to Catherine]. Look… everybody saw it. So now your name is not Catherine. You are Catherine the floating girl.”

With her eyes wide and mind bewildered, Catherine was in awe that she was part of something that could only be described as one thing – magical. It was a moment that she will remember forever.

Experiences like this happen regularly at the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts at Ocean County College.

The Amazing Max was a part of the 2022 Community Arts and Music Programs (CAMP) available at Grunin Center over the summer months.

CAMP was started in 2017 after David C. Wintrode, President of Causeway Family of Dealerships/Causeway CARes, had an idea to create a series of performances for the community that would focus on things that are really fun, but also educational.

“Many children never have the opportunity to see live shows,”http://www.prlog.org/” said Wintrode.

“These programs would give school-aged children and individuals with special needs the opportunity to engage with the arts.”

Heidi M. Sheridan, Interim Executive and Artistic Director for the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts, also notes that many places are eliminating music and arts from their programming. “We are stepping into make sure that children have these collective, shared experiences,” she said. “We really want children to feel like anything is possible.”

“This year, thanks to the generous support of the Wintrode Family Foundation and the Ocean County College Foundation, we hosted five artists for CAMP performances,” said Jaclyn Wood, Assitant Director, Education & Community Engagement at the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts. “All the CAMP events were fully funded by these organizations and free for attendees.”

When it comes to selecting entertainers, it is a collaborative effort. “I will talk to different agents and artists and even see them perform,” said Wood. “I am looking for artists who are not just good at what they do, but they give these children an experience they will never forget.”

Once Wood has a list of vetted performers, Mr. Wintrode, alongside a committee, will select the talent.

This year’s programming included Jeff Boyer’s Big Bubble Bonanza, Doktor Kaboom’s Look Out- Science is Coming!, Twinkle Time, The Amazing Max and Christopher Agostino’s Storyfaces.

“The CAMP series has a lot of heart because it started in a very pure way,” said Wood. “The goal has always been to give kids the opportunity to be more involved with the arts.”

This summer, the CAMP series saw 2,880 attendees with both The Amazing Max and Storyfaces being filled to capacity.

Information about these shows was sent directly to camp leaders, as well as shared on the Grunin Center website and Facebook page and in the Grunin Center season brochure. In addition to camps and community groups, families and homeschool groups came to performances.

“We were pleased to welcome back groups who had attended these performances in the past, as well as some new groups,” Wood added.

Past participants who were in attendance this year included: Ocean County YMCA, YMCA Camp Zehnder, Point Pleasant Recreation, Little Egg Harbor’s Summer Splash, Lacey Schools Extended School Year (ESY) Program and Prime Time Center. New groups included: Red Bank YMCA, Freehold YMCA, Innovate Kids Club, My Jacob’s Ladder and Community Options.

Groups were extremely excited to be back, but perhaps the biggest challenge this year was getting them to the venue.

“Transportation was often an issue, with groups not having the funding to pay for a bus to bring them to the Grunin Center, but this year was especially challenging because of a bus driver shortage,” said Wood.

That’s when the Wintrode Family Foundation and the Ocean County College Foundation stepped in to help.

“Thanks to additional support from these organizations, we were able to bring 756 campers and camp leaders to the shows who wouldn’t have been able to attend otherwise by booking charter buses to transport them,” said Wood. “I am so thankful for the support of these two organizations because without them these programs would not be possible.”

Looking back, perhaps the best part of the CAMP series is watching kids come into the lobby and you can see that they are just so excited to be there, according to Wood. “Everyone feels a sense of wonder and that anything is possible,” she said. “You can come here and have an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life.”

To learn more about the CAMP series or to reserve your group for a future event, please email Jaclyn Wood at jwood@ocean.edu.

For the full list of event dates and tickets, visit grunincenter.org.

Canada – Statement by the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development on International Day of Families

May 15, 2022              Gatineau, Quebec              Employment and Social Development CanadaToday, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould, issued the following statement:

“Family is at the heart of our society. When families are strong, so are our communities. That is why making life more affordable for families in Canada is front and centre of the Government of Canada’s plan to grow the economy.

Today, on the International Day of Families, I would like to highlight the important work the Government of Canada is doing to make sure all families in Canada have the support they need, no matter where they live.

Since 2016, the Canada Child Benefit has played a key role in reducing the number of children living in poverty and continues to be central to our efforts to reduce poverty by 50% by 2030, relative to 2015 levels. The Canada Child Benefit is tax-free and based on income to provide more support to families who need it most. The benefit is also indexed every July to keep pace with the cost of living.

We know that child care is not a luxury, but a necessity for parents from coast to coast to coast. For families with young children, we are building a transformational Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care system in collaboration with provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners. Access to high-quality, affordable, flexible, and inclusive child care gives our children the best possible start in life, and enables parents to work, creating a solid economic foundation for families across the country well into the future.

It is already making a real difference. By the end of 2022, regulated child care fees will be reduced by an average of 50 per cent, saving families thousands of dollars. With nearly all provinces and territories already seeing reductions in child care fees, the Government of Canada’s goal is that all families in Canada, no matter where they live, have access to regulated early learning and child care for an average of $10-a-day by March 2026. This means savings for hundreds of thousands of families to keep up with the cost of living.

With such initiatives, we continue to help deliver a better quality of life for families across Canada.

As Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, I want to wish you a happy International Day of Families, from my family to yours.”



Associated LinksToward $10-a-Day: Early Learning and Child Care

Family and caregiving benefits

Canada Child Benefit

Canada – $10 a day child care for families in Saskatchewan 

Today, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, and the Honourable Dustin Duncan, Saskatchewan Minister of Education, announced an agreement that will support an average of $10 a day early learning and child care for Saskatchewan families by the end of 2025-26. By the end of 2022, Saskatchewan families will see a 50 per cent reduction in average parent fees for children under age six in regulated child care.

August 13, 2021 – Regina, Saskatchewan – Department of Finance Canada

Every child deserves the best possible start in life and all parents should have the ability to build both a family and career. Yet, too many families across Canada lack access to affordable, inclusive, and high-quality child care. The global COVID-19 pandemic has also made it clear that without access to child care, too many parents—especially women—cannot fully participate in the workforce.

In the recent federal budget, the Government of Canada laid out a transformative plan to build a Canada-wide, community-based system of high-quality early learning and child care that provides parents in Canada with, on average, $10 a day regulated child care spaces for children under the age of six. This will make life more affordable for families, create new jobs, get parents back into the workforce, and grow the middle class, while giving every child an equal start in life. 

Today, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, and the Honourable Dustin Duncan, Saskatchewan Minister of Education, announced an agreement that will support an average of $10 a day early learning and child care for Saskatchewan families by the end of 2025-26. By the end of 2022, Saskatchewan families will see a 50 per cent reduction in average parent fees for children under age six in regulated child care.

In addition to significantly reducing the cost of child care, federal funding of close to $1.1 billion over the next five years will lead to the creation of 28,000 new regulated early learning and child care spaces to help ensure Saskatchewan families with children under six years old can access child care spaces that meet their needs. Federal funding will support the expansion of these new child care spaces in not-for-profit child care centres, small child care facilities, and home-based child care.

The agreement will also fund critical services and attract, retain and grow a strong and skilled workforce of early childhood educators, including through the creation of a wage grid that will ensure early child educators are well paid for their work. The agreement also supports future early childhood educators with their studies and provides them with professional development opportunities.

The agreement includes a clear commitment to continue to work collaboratively with Saskatchewan First Nations and Métis Nation communities to ensure Indigenous children have access to affordable, high-quality and culturally appropriate early learning and child care. 

It also supports an early learning and child care system that is fully inclusive of children with disabilities and children needing enhanced or individual supports, and ensures all families have equitable access to high-quality, affordable early learning and child care.

Along with today’s landmark agreement, the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan have also reached an agreement to extend the Canada-Saskatchewan Early Learning and Child Care Agreement. The Government of Canada will provide over $68.5 million over the next four years to increase access to affordable, inclusive and high-quality child care spaces. In addition, the Government of Canada will provide Saskatchewan with a one-time investment of over $17 million in 2021-2022 to support the early childhood workforce.

The Government of Canada will continue to work with provinces, territories, and Indigenous partners across the country to make life more affordable for families, grow the middle class, create jobs, help parents—especially mothers—return to the workforce, and give each and every child the same head start.

“Ensuring that all Canadians have access to high-quality and affordable early learning and child care makes sense. Not only does it give our children the best possible start in life, it ensures that parents — especially mothers — can work, and it creates good, well-paying jobs for educators. Today’s announcement with the Government of Saskatchewan is another important step in making this a reality for families everywhere in Canada. It is part of the government’s plan to make sure that Canada’s recovery from the COVID-19 recession leaves no one behind.”

— The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

“Every child deserves the best possible start in life. Our vision for early learning and child care is big and ambitious, but if we tell our own kids to dream big, we need to lead by example. Today’s historic agreement with Saskatchewan is another important step on the path to ensuring all families have access to high-quality, affordable, and inclusive child care.”

— The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

“Today is a historic day for Saskatchewan. No longer will parents have to choose between child care and returning to the workforce because of the costs of child care. The social and economic potential this unlocks cannot be overstated. I am pleased we are partnering with another province that sees the value of a strong and affordable early learning and child care program.”

— The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister and Special Representative for the Prairies 

“The Government of Saskatchewan is committed to investing in affordable, accessible and quality early learning and child care options that provide flexibility and choice to Saskatchewan families. We are pleased that this deal creates 28,000 new regulated spaces, makes life more affordable for Saskatchewan families and enhances the wages of Early Childhood Educators who support children across our province.”

 — The Honourable Dustin Duncan, Saskatchewan Minister of Education

Saskatchewan is the eighth jurisdiction to reach a Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement with the federal government, bringing Canada another step closer to a coast-to-coast-to-coast early learning and child care system.

These eight agreements represent an investment of $12.5 billion; they cover nearly half of Canadian children under six and will create 125,000 new child care spaces across the country.
Most of these agreements have committed to $10 a day child care well in advance of the original five-year target set in April.

The governments of Canada and Saskatchewan will create an Implementation Committee that will monitor progress on early learning and child care commitments in consultation with stakeholders. The Government of Canada will be represented on this committee by the Federal Secretariat on Early Learning and Child Care.

Budget 2021 provides new investments to build a high-quality, affordable, flexible, and inclusive early learning and child care system across Canada. These investments total up to $30 billion over the next five years, and combined with previous investments announced since 2015, $9.2 billion every year thereafter, permanently.

Through previous investments in early learning and child care, the Government of Canada helped to create over 40,000 more affordable child care spaces across the country prior to the pandemic, including over 1,800 in Saskatchewan.

In addition to these investments, the Government of Canada is directly supporting parents, no matter how they choose to care for their children, through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB). For over five years, the CCB has provided almost $25 billion in tax-free support per year to about 3.5 million families, and is now providing families with $350 more per child than when the program began.

In 2021, the Government of Canada is providing additional temporary support for families with children under the age of six through the Canada Child Benefit young child supplement. This helps families across Canada who are struggling with a range of unpredictable expenses during the pandemic.

Investments in child care will benefit all Canadians. Studies show that for every dollar invested in early childhood education, the broader economy receives between $1.50 and $2.80 in return.

To promote greater gender equality at home and in the workplace, the Government of Canada has also introduced the Parental Sharing Benefit. This measure provides an additional five weeks of Employment Insurance parental benefits when parents—including adoptive and same-sex parents—agree to share parental benefits.

The Canada-Saskatchewan Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, initially signed in 2017, outlines Saskatchewan’s unique child care needs and priorities. It ensures funding continues to be available to support child care programs and services for Saskatchewan families.

Media Relations Office

Employment and Social Development Canada

media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

819-994-5559

Stephanie Ali

Director of Communications

Ministry of Education

Government of Saskatchewan

stephanie.ali@gov.sk.ca

Canada – $10 a day child care for families in Manitoba

Every child deserves the best possible start in life, and all parents should have the ability to build both a family and career. Yet, too many families across Canada lack access to affordable, inclusive, and high-quality child care. The global COVID-19 pandemic has also made it clear that without access to child care, too many parents—especially women—cannot fully participate in the workforce.

August 9, 2021              Winnipeg, Manitoba              Employment and Social Development CanadaEvery child deserves the best possible start in life, and all parents should have the ability to build both a family and career. Yet, too many families across Canada lack access to affordable, inclusive, and high-quality child care. The global COVID-19 pandemic has also made it clear that without access to child care, too many parents—especially women—cannot fully participate in the workforce.

That is why the Government of Canada has laid out a plan to provide parents in Canada with, on average, $10 a day regulated child care spaces for children under age six by 2025-26. This plan to build a Canada-wide, community-based early learning and child care system will make life more affordable for families, create new jobs, get parents—especially women—back into the workforce, and grow the middle class, while giving every child a real and fair chance at success. 

The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, and the Honourable Rochelle Squires, Manitoba’s Minister of Families, today announced an agreement that will support an average of $10 a day for regulated child care spaces in the province in 2023, significantly reducing the price of child care for families. By the end of 2022, Manitoba families will see a 50 per cent reduction in average parent fees for children up to six years old in regulated child care. This agreement will also lead to the creation 23,000 new full-time regulated care spaces by the end of fiscal year 2025–2026 to ensure all families of children up to six years old can access child care. The province will create these new child care spaces in not-for-profit, public child care providers/operations, as well as in family-based child care.

The federal funding of more than $1.2 billion over the next five years will also fund critical services, and grow a strong and skilled workforce of early childhood educators, including through the creation of a wage grid to support the attraction and retentions of early childhood educators. This agreement will also lead to the creation of 1,700 extended hour child care spaces for families requiring child care in the evening and on weekends as well as guaranteed child care spaces for children whose parents are transitioning into regular employment. The agreement will also support an early learning and child care system that is fully inclusive of children with disabilities and children needing enhanced or individual supports, and ensure all families have equitable access to high-quality, affordable programming.

Manitoba will prioritize inclusivity, ensuring that families have access to integrated and culturally responsive services. This plan will ensure vulnerable communities – including children with disabilities and children needing enhanced or individual supports, Indigenous children , Black and other racialized children – have equitable access to regulated child care. This will be developed in collaboration with relevant First Nations and Metis Nation organizations in the province. Funding through the agreement will also support the strengthening of the early learning and child care workforce by modernizing certification requirements and implementing a wage floor for different positions and classifications.

Since 2015, the government has been helping make life more affordable for families. This includes programs like the Canada Child Benefit, which was indexed again in July 2021 to help families keep up with the costs of living and raising their children.

The time for a Canada-wide early learning and child care system is now. The Government of Canada will continue to work with provinces, territories, and Indigenous partners across the country to make life easier and more affordable for families, grow the middle class, create jobs, help parents—especially mothers—return to the workforce, and give children across the country an equal chance to succeed.

Every child deserves the best possible start in life. Our vision for early learning and child care is big and ambitious, but if we tell our own kids to dream big, we need to lead by example. Today’s historic agreement with Manitoba is another important step on the path to ensuring all families have access to high-quality, affordable, and inclusive child care.”


–The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

“Manitoba negotiated an Early Learning and Child Care Agreement focused on the specific needs and circumstances of Manitoba working families. It builds on our own government’s increased investments for more spaces and better access by low-income families to needed child care. This historic new agreement will lead to 23,000 more child care spaces in our province. I am particularly pleased it will benefit women in the work force.”


– The Honourable Rochelle Squires, Manitoba Minister of Families

“Ensuring that all Canadians, especially mothers, have access to high-quality and affordable early learning and child care is a strong economic policy. It creates both good middle-class jobs and long-term economic growth, by increasing the participation of women in the workforce, and ensuring that early childhood educators receive the compensation they deserve for their essential work. It also gives our children the best possible start in life. Today’s agreement with Manitoba brings us one step closer to achieving a Canada-wide early learning and childcare system that will jumpstart the Canadian economy in the wake of the COVID recession.”


– The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

“Manitoba families deserve affordable, accessible childcare. With the announcement of 23,000 new childcare spaces by March 2026, Manitoba families will be provided with better access to childcare to those who need it most.”


–The Honourable Scott Fielding, Manitoba Minister of Finance

By the end of March 2026, Manitoba will create 23,000 new full-time regulated care spaces to ensure all families of children up to six years old can access child care.

The governments of Canada and Manitoba will create an Implementation Committee that will monitor progress on early learning and child care commitments in consultation with stakeholders. The Government of Canada will be represented on this committee by the Federal Secretariat on Early Learning and Child Care.

Budget 2021 provides new investments to build a high-quality, affordable, flexible, and inclusive early learning and child care system across Canada. These investments total up to $30 billion over the next five years, and combined with previous investments announced since 2015, $9.2 billion every year thereafter, permanently.

Through previous investments in early learning and child care, the Government of Canada helped to create over 40,000 more affordable child care spaces across the country prior to the pandemic, including over 700 in Manitoba.

In addition to these investments, the Government of Canada is directly supporting parents, no matter how they choose to care for their children, through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB). 

For over five years, the CCB has provided about $25 billion in tax-free support per year to about 3.5 million families, and is now providing families with over $350 more per child than when the program began.

In 2021, the government is providing additional temporary support for families with children under the age of six through the CCB young child supplement. This helps Canadian families who are struggling with a range of unpredictable expenses during the pandemic, including temporary child care arrangements.

Investments in early learning and child care will benefit all Canadians. Studies show that for every dollar invested in early childhood education, the broader economy receives between $1.50 and $2.80 in return.

To promote greater gender equality at home and in the workplace, the Government of Canada has also introduced the Parental Sharing Benefit. This new measure provides an additional five weeks of Employment Insurance parental benefits when parents – including adoptive and same-sex parents – agree to share parental benefits.

Earlier this year, the Manitoba government committed up to $1.9 million to support and protect families and early learning and child-care facilities affected by the move to remote learning in Winnipeg and Brandon as part of the province’s public health measures. Manitoba also announced nearly $4.4 million for a COVID-19 Response Block Grant to support 230 regulated, non-profit early learning and child-care facilities impacted by COVID-19 in partnership with the Government of Canada.