For the Townsman
Parents of young children in Cranbrook now have access to a range of early learning, health and family services in one convenient location. A new B.C. Early Years Centre has opened at the Kootenay Child Development Centre to support families with children up to age 6.
Hosted by the Community Connections Society of Southeast B.C., the centre offers a number of programs, services and supports including:
• An inventory of programs and services for young children and families in Cranbrook.
• Support in choosing the correct services for a family’s needs.
The B.C. Early Years Centre in Cranbrook is one of 14 new centres across the province. The chosen sites are in a diverse mix of urban, rural and Aboriginal communities, and will build on existing local community resources to enhance services for families. Each centre will receive $52,000 from the Provincial Office for the Early Years for this fiscal year as part of a $5.5-million investment over three years.
This is the second phase of an initiative under the B.C. Early Years Strategy to implement a network of Early Years Centres throughout the province that will provide families with one-stop, convenient access to a range of services and supports, information and referrals.
“Our government is committed to supporting preschool children with a range of programs that are designed for their needs,” Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett said. “Programs and services that have been developed for the B.C. Early Years Centre in Cranbrook help ensure our region’s children thrive now and throughout their lives.”
A key goal is to create a questionnaire, titled Ages and Stages, that allows parents to identify where their children might require extra support, said Kim Levie, assistant director, Community Connections Society of Southeast B.C. “This tool is important to early identification and referral to services that will enhance and support a child’s development,” Levie said.