The Abbotsford School District is pairing up with eight other organizations and government bodies to provide a variety of services, including for vulnerable and at-risk families and Indigenous and South Asian families.
“The Abbotsford School District is a proud champion of the Abbotsford Early Childhood Leadership collective,” ASD spokesperson Kayla Stuckart said in an email statement.
Among those working in the collective are the Fraser Valley Child Development Centre, Abbotsford Community Services, the City of Abbotsford, MCFD, the Hand-in-Hand Childcare Society, Child and Youth Mental Health Services, Child Care Resource and Referral and the University of the Fraser Valley.
The collective put in a successful joint submission for a Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) request for proposals that sought submissions from service providers between November 2018 and January 2019.
The services will include family drop-in programs for parents and children six and under. The ministry said in a statement that the program would focus on the most vulnerable and at-risk families.
Other activities, the ministry said, will promote social emotional learning, empathy, language and communication, physical activity, literacy and numeracy development, inquiry and exploration.
The funding will also provide culturally appropriate programs for Indigenous and South Asian families, as well as services for families with children with extra support needs.
“The Abbotsford Early Childhood Leadership collective was established to support a shift in the community’s understanding of child development, focusing on social competence and emotional maturity, and building adult capacity to promote optimal development for children to thrive,” Stuckart said, adding that programming will be available at several locations throughout the city.
The ministry said the request for proposals came out of a review of its early years framework in early 2018 to determine if it was providing adequate supports.
“During this review, the Ministry heard that parents wanted access to more direct services, such as parent and family supports, early childhood development, and Indigenous culture and language programming,” the ministry said.
The school board was notified of the application’s success at a public board meeting near the end of February.