Early childhood educators and community partners met in Prince Albert this week to discuss a new family resource centre in the city.
The Prince Albert Early Childhood Council hosted a one-day conference Thursday to consult with other community and advocacy organizations on the idea. Donna Strauss, council co-chair and executive director of Family Futures Prince Albert, said a resource centre is needed in the city and studies show that not all children are getting the support they need early on in life.
Strauss said a family resource centre would provide support for families that feel isolated. The drop-in centre plans include an indoor playground for children under the age of five, programming, and information about additional services in the community.
“The statistics that we see about children entering school, not being ready for school, really show us that we have to do more in our community,” Strauss told paNOW. “We see year after year the same need presenting itself. Even though there’s lots of organizations that are working hard, we think we just need to do more. We need to work in a different way.
Strauss said the next step is to determine a timeline for the construction of the new family resource centre. She said the Early Childhood Council already has a few locations in mind, but the new space will require a capital investment to develop.
“We don’t want to linger on this. We want to take action," she said. "Once we have a plan in place, it’s going to come together pretty quickly.”
Mick Gratias, a member of the childhood council and program manager with KidsFirst Prince Albert, said Thursday’s conference was a good chance to share ideas for the new facility. Gratias said it’s important that the new facility is in a central location with close access to transportation.
“We need to work where our families are,” Gratias said. “Your best opportunity to provide children, and especially the community, with positive outcomes in the future is to provide early child support.”
On Twitter: @CharleneTebbutt
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