Healthy Parenting & Early Childhood Development

The prenatal period through the first five years of life are critically important to a child’s healthy development and strongly influence success later in life.  Healthy pregnancies, breastfeeding and healthy nutrition, parental mental well-being, safe nurturing environments and positive parenting are the most powerful influences on healthy child development.  Public Health Nurses offer home visits to all families after a birth.  They also provide support during pregnancy.  Public Health staff work with fathers and mothers to promote family health and well-being.

Major initiatives

Prenatal Connections

In partnership with Manitoba Health, the program uses an “action research” approach to develop culturally responsive prenatal services for women who must leave their homes, and loved ones and travel to Winnipeg to give birth.  The program is currently serving the approximately 150 women who travel each year from the Kivalliq region of Nunavut to Winnipeg to give birth.

The Prenatal Connections Needs Assessment was completed in January 2014 and has been used to guide program delivery and adaptations.  The Prenatal Connections Evaluation was completed in 2016. 

 Partners in Inner-City Integrated Prenatal Care (PIIPC)

The Partners in Inner-City Integrated Prenatal Care (PIIPC) project aimed to reduce barriers to prenatal care for pregnant women in inner-city Winnipeg. The project started in 2012 and was evaluated until 2016. The project was effective in improving access to and use of prenatal care by selected inner-city women in the WHR.  The final evaluation report/info graphic is now available.  PIIPC services continue through a collaborative network of health care providers. 

Towards Flourishing

A collaboration between the WRHA, Healthy Child Manitoba and the University of Manitoba designed to enhance the mental well-being of parents and children by introducing a mental health promotion strategy for families, public health and mental health staff in Manitoba’s Families First Home Visiting Program.  The research component of this project is ongoing.  Delivery of training and strategies related to Towards Flourishing continue in the WRHA. 

Manitoba Health Provincial Public Health Standards Project

Phase 1 (2013- 2015): The Provincial Public Health Nursing Standards for prenatal, postpartum, and early childhood were developed from May 2013 through December 2015, using a collaborative process involving Manitoba Health, Healthy Living and Seniors, and Regional Health Authorities.

The standards define the minimum practice expectations for Public Health Nurses (PHNs) in Manitoba in the areas of prenatal, postpartum and early childhood. Public health nursing practice will improve health outcomes for all Manitobans by promoting equity, social justice, and addressing the social determinants of health in prenatal, postpartum, and early childhood populations.

Phase 2 – (2015 – 2016) includes the development of an implementation strategy including a generic provincial orientation, training, continuing professional development materials, tools, competency check list, etc.

Implementation of the standards and use of the provincial documentation tools is currently underway.

Healthy Parenting Winnipeg Website (HPW)

The Website has been developed to ensure our clients have access to current and evidence informed advice and is a key tool supporting the Public Health Nurse Professional Practice Model.  The Website provides universal information on a wide variety of parenting topics spanning the prenatal to pre-school years. 

HPW has created standardized messaging through work with local, provincial and national experts to ensure best practices are incorporated and information is accessible to all.  HPW can be accessed through:



2016 Program Monitoring and Evaluation Report - HPECD

Service Area Committees

WRHA Baby Friendly Initiative Community Committee Terms of Reference 

Public Health Nursing Practice Council Terms of Reference 

Families First Practice Council Terms of Reference 



Child Protection and Child Abuse Handbook

Child Protection and Child Abuse Reporting Fact Sheet

Pamphlet of Childbirth and Postpartum Resources June 2018

Feeding Healthy Term Infants Resource Manual


Manitoba Poverty Tool:

Mental Health Promotion - Perinatal Mental Health Resources

Memo Practice Change for Discharging Newborns at Risk for Jaundice

Practice Change for Discharging Newborns at Risk for Jaundice Handout

Service Delivery Standards

Families First Program Standards

Assessment and Management of Postpartum Hypertension for Public Health Nurses

Prenatal, Postpartum and Newborn Documentation Tools

Postpartum Nursing Care Pathway

Newborn Nursing Care Pathway

Prenatal Evidence Informed Care Pathway

Newborn Assessment Form

Newborn Postpartum Assessment Form

Postpartum Assessment Form

Prenatal Assessment Form

Prenatal Referral Form

Prenatal Obstetrical History Form

Practice Guidelines for PHN's Working with Healthy Children and Youth Population

Practice Guidelines for Public Health Nurses working in Healthy Parenting & Early Childhood Development based on the Professional Practice Model

Provincial Public Health Nursing Standards: Prenatal, Postpartum and Early Childhood

Supplemental Document I: Public Health Nursing: Prenatal, Postpartum and Early Childhood Practice Examples

Provincial Public Health Nursing Standards: Prenatal, Postpartum and Early Childhood Webinar series:

Webinar 1 Background and Context: August 22, 2018

Webinar 2 Prenatal PHN Practice: August 29, 2018

Webinar 3 Newborn Postpartum PHN Practice: August 12, 2018

Webinar 4 Documentation:  September 19, 2018

Clinical Practice Guidelines

Operational Guideline for Collaborative Practice between Public Health Nurses and Midwives – Perinatal Services 

Bereavement Practice Guidelines (updated 2014)

Breastfeeding Practice Guidelines for Healthy Term Infants

Education and Use of Education Materials

Home Phototherapy Clinical Practice Guideline (Updated Oct 18, 2022)

Management of Infant and Child Dehydration due to Diarrhea Clinical Practice Guideline

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Sudden Unexpected Death Syndrome (SUDS) - Prevention Of - Clinical Practice Guideline

Perinatal Mental Health Clinical Practice Guideline 2017

Families First:

Ages & Stages - Questionnaires, Summaries and Activity Sheets

Please note, the developers of the ASQ have provided the following direction:

“In the past, gender was considered a hallmark of development but now there exists a much more nuanced and sophisticated view of all that is involved with gender. As you use ASQ-3, you may find it best to omit items related to gender and calculate an adjusted score for the Personal-Social area.” 

These items will be omitted in future editions of the ASQ.

For your reference, items related to gender appear on ASQ-3 in the Personal-Social area on the 36 month, 42 month, 48 month, 54 month, and 60 month questionnaire

The Families First Program took part in the Voice of the Client Survey in June 2018. We heard from 160 families. Parents like learning about their child’s growth and development, doing activities and having support in the home. They like the service so much that many expressed they wish it could continue beyond 3 years. Working with their schedule is important to our families. A lot of parents said that they weren’t sure what to expect from the program. We are working on ways to better explain what we do when we meet our new families. Planning is under way to repeat the Voice of Client Survey process in June 2020.

Families First Home Visitor Support Manual:

These documents are filed in the HPECD Program Resources Shared Folder on the R:\ drive, or you can click on the Section title below to view the contents and download a pdf to view or print and use.

Operating Guidelines

Newborn Screening in Manitoba: Information for Parents

Newborn Screening in Manitoba: Information for Health Care Providers

Operating Guidelines for Legal Proceedings

Operating Guidelines for Product Distribution

Operational guidelines for sphygmomanometers

Operating Guidelines for Supplementation with Artificial Baby Milk

Operational Guidelines for Use of Electronic Breast Pump and Pumping Kits

Injury Prevention and Sling-Style Infant Scales:

Q & A How to minimize neck and back injuries in Public Health Nursing Practice

Use of sling style scales and good body mechanics

Instructions to assemble sling scale