Program a Model for Early Childhood Education

Programmation d'un modele d'education de la petite enfance

RICHIBUCTO, NB, Oct. 16 /CNW/ - La Boussole, Centre de la petite enfance et de la famille de Richibucto inc. celebrated its official opening today in Soleil Levant School. Elected officials and community leaders from business, culture, health, and education joined children, their parents and caregivers to tour this unique "one-stop" location for children from birth through Grade 8.

La Boussole ("The Compass") is one of nine early childhood demonstration sites in the province. Its team of staff delivers programming to parents and children including full- and part-time child care, parent and child playgroups, immunization clinics and healthy lifestyle programs integrated with school-based services.

The school location was chosen because it is familiar to parents and helps facilitate the transition to school for young children. The concept is based on the latest national and international research of best practices in early childhood service delivery. New Brunswick is one of the first provinces in Canada to test integrated service delivery as a way to improve supports for parents and young children.

"The early years are the most important years and quality of care that a child experiences in their first years has a direct effect on their ability to succeed later in life. That is why we are committed to working with New Brunswickers to make quality early learning and childcare more accessible, more affordable, and more inclusive," said Claude Williams, the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Minister representing Jody Carr, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.

La Boussole serves Acadian and Francophone families in Kent County as well as English speaking families who want their children to attend a French school. Michèle Doiron Campbell, Vice President of La Boussole and the mother of two preschoolers welcomes the strong linguistic and cultural identity the program offers.

"Minority francophone children often do not have the opportunity to acquire pre-literacy skills in French before they start school. This centre will help children build a strong linguistic foundation for their ongoing learning and development."

The Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation Inc. has partnered with the Government of New Brunswick to support the development and evaluation of the demonstration sites. The Health and Education Research Group (HERG), based out of UNB and l'Université de Moncton, is conducting the evaluation.

"Our goal is to demonstrate the profound payoffs that public investment in education and development targeted toward our youngest children can have," says Foundation chair, the Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain. "Research tells us early childhood programs that are partnered with public education and encourage the involvement of parents and the community excel in fostering creative thinking, confidence and leadership among children, educators and parents. These skills benefit the entire community."

For further information:

Michèle Doiron Campbell
Phone: (506) 663-3575

Kerry McCuaig, Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation Inc.
Phone: (647) 295-2808

Tracy Burkhardt, Director/Directrice Communications, Social Development/Développement social,
Phone: (506) 444-2416

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