October 20, 2014 - 2:45 PM
OKANAGAN - A strategy to offer First Nations families convenient access to early learning materials will soon hit the road in a mobile unit, travelling to Indian bands in the Southern Interior.
The B.C. Early Years Centre will offer access to a range of early learning and health and family services to support families with children between age 0-6 from the Osoyoos Indian Band, Upper Similkameen Indian Band, the Lower Similkameen Indian band and the Okanagan Territory. The province's commitment to this project is eight years.
"The mobility of the centre means a lot to families who otherwise wouldn’t be able to travel to resource centres outside of their community.” MLA for Boundary-Similkameen Linda Larson said in a media release.
The Penticton Early Years Centre is one of 12 new centres across the province and each will receive $52,000 from the Provincial Office for the Early Years this year as part of an overall $5.5 million investment over three years.
“For parents and families with young children, any extra support offered is certainly more than welcome to ensure their child has the best possible start in life,” MLA for Penticton Dan Ashton said. “By making it easier for families to access programs and services in one convenient location through this mobile centre, children in these communities will be able to reach their full potential at this critical stage.”
Executive Director for the Penticton and District Community Resource Society Tanya Behardien said the centre will provide much needed culturally-informed support and the hope is the program will result in healthier children, stronger families and strong communities.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014