The B.C. Liberal government has provided some great news for the families that live in 100 Mile House and the outlying communities.
The local Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre (CFEC) was chosen as one of the 12 BC Early Years Centres in British Columbia that will help support families with children six years and under.
The CFEC is elated about getting this money because its goal from the beginning has been to help families with young children get as much support as possible.
It is this time in their lives that they will develop and learn the most, so it is crucial they are given as much support, encouragement and information as possible.
It is vitally important for young families to have the services so moms and dads learn that positive parental interaction with their children early in life pays huge dividends as they grow older and start going to school.
The CFEC is going to receive $52,000 from the Provincial Office for the Early Years for this fiscal year as part of a $5.5-million investment over three years.
The centre already has a lot of programs in place, so the extra funding will not only upgrade their programs, but it will also provide more services for families with children in the zero to six age group.
One only needs to see the smiles of joy on the faces of the staff, parents and youngsters during these programs to realize the time, effort and money put into these sessions are building stepping blocks to help create loving and caring parents and children.
The ability to reach out to the communities of Lac la Hache, Bridge Lake, Lone Butte, 108 Mile Ranch and Forest Grove has the CFEC management and staff members jumping up and down with excitement.
It has long been their goal to be able to stretch out to the outlying communities to support young families that are not able to travel back and forth to participate in the programs that are being offered in 100 Mile House.
Now, the South Cariboo mobile Early Years Centre will be able to travel to these communities and offer programs, including the popular drop-in playgroup Wiggle and Shake, which is a parent-participation play group with special focus on physical, social and emotional development.
This contact will lead to discussion about what each community needs in terms of services.
How important is this new Early Years Centre?
CFEC executive director Lisa De Paoli says the “long-term goal is to reduce the number of children in the South Cariboo who are physically, emotionally and socially vulnerable entering kindergarten from more than 100 children a year to zero.”