EarlyOn centres expand programs
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | March 28, 2018|
Parents and their young children will continue to benefit from expanded services offered out of EarlyON Child and Family Centres in Haliburton County, their City of Kawartha Lakes-based operators say.
The centres have undergone a lot of change in the past 18 months, including moving into Archie Stouffer Elementary School in Minden and J. Douglas Hodgson Elementary School in Haliburton in the fall of 2016.
They’re now being called EarlyOn centres, rather than Ontario Early Years Centres (OEYS). Further, they say they’ve expanded programming for the centres that cater to newborns to six-year-olds. Janine Mitchell, City of Kawartha Lakes’ manager of social services, told The Highlander last week that the centres here now offer early learning programming year- round, Tuesday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m, including over the March break.
In addition, on one Saturday each month, the EarlyON partners with the Haliburton County Public Library (HCPL) to offer a morning program in each of these communities. In Wilberforce, where there is now bi-weekly programming, Mitchell said it will be expanded to weekly programming.
“In addition, in partnership with the HCPL and Municipality of Highlands East, EarlyOn programming is now being offered bi-weekly in Gooderham, Dorset, Cardiff and Kinmount,” she said. Julie Pearson is the EarlyON coordinator for Haliburton County.
She said, “I can’t say they (the families) have noticed a big change yet but they are happy to know we are going to be open regular hours in the summer. “We have had families take part in our Saturday library programs already, some fathers and Kindergarten, aged children that we wouldn’t have seen otherwise at our regular drop-in programming.”
Executive director Pippa Stephenson added they’re confident their expanded EarlyOn program at libraries and community centres in smaller communities “will grow as word gets out that we are coming to these communities.”
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.