Representatives from the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation enjoyed a visit with students and staff of the Early Years Centre located at East Antigonish Education Centre/Academy in Monastery on Tuesday, September 22, 2015. This visit is part of a provincial tour of all eight Early Years Centres in Nova Scotia and provided an opportunity to learn more about the programs and services being offered to families as well as plans for the future. Special guests attending included Jane Bertrand, Program Director, Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation; June McLoughlin, Director of Family and Children’s Services, Doveton, Australia; Kerry McCuaig, Fellow in Early Childhood Policy, Atkinson Centre, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto and founder of Toronto First Duty; Denise Stone, Director of Early Years Integration and Community Development, Early Years Branch of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.
The Early Years Centres are located in or near schools, which make them accessible, convenient and familiar places for families. Each Centre is designed to meet the needs of its community by partnering with local organizations to offer programs and services such as play-based early learning programs for four-year-olds, early intervention, before- and after-school child care, health and parent education.
The Early Years Centre hosted at East Antigonish Education Centre/Academy has offered a four-year old early learning program since it opened in February of 2014. It also provides a family resource Centre for programming purposes and offers families access to before- and after-school child care.
The development of the Early Years Centres is supported by a five-year funding commitment from the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation. The Strait Regional School Board acknowledges with thanks the assistance of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation for supporting the early development and learning experiences of children. The Foundation’s partnership with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and generous financial grant under the Foundation’s Early Childhood Centre Initiative is providing families with access to new and improved services in their local school community.