BC Early Years Centres

BC Early Years Centres

Date: Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Across BC, communities are working together to support families with young children through the growing network BC Early Years Centres. In 2014, the Provincial Office for the Early Years launched the BC Early Years Centre Network. With 26 BC Early Years Centres across BC the sites all represent a range of models to improve coordination and ensure families with young children. This presentation will provide an overview of the BC Early Years Centre Network and highlight the unique approaches provided by the Carrier Sekani Family Services BC Early Years Centre and Nqsilt Early Years Centre.

Session Video

Key Learning Points

Individuals participating in this workshop will:

  • Learn some of the history and vision of BC Early Years Centres,
  • Gain an understanding on the range of models and approaches communities are using to work together to support families with young children through BC Early Years Centres,
  • Learn more about 2 sites specific to First Nations and Aboriginal communities:
  • Feature the Carrier Sekani Family Services BC Early Years Centre located in Dakelh Wet’suwet’en Territory, exploring the development of this site, sharing their model and approach to providing coordinated supports to families with young children,
  • Feature the Nqsilt Early Years Centre, located in the Okanagan Territory, exploring the development of this site, which is another unique model of partnerships among 3 First Nations and a non-Aboriginal family serving agency,
  • Understand some key lessons we’ve learned along the way in the development of the BC Early Years Centre Network and the next steps,
  • Integrate learning through interactive question period with presenters.

Workshop Outline:

  •  Overview of BC Early Years Centres
  •  Brief Background
  •  Where are they and What do they do
  •  Types of models
  •  Carrier Sekani family Services BC Early Years Centre
  •  Nqsilt BC Early Years Centre
  •  Lessons Learned and Pathways Forward
  •  Overview of some of the lessons learned so far
  •  Expanding the EYC Network
  •  Q & A

About the Presenters:

Dawne Persson

Dawne Persson was born and raised in Vanderhoof B.C. She started her career running two preschools for the first two years and then went on to manage a Headstart in a local First Nation Community. Following this work, Dawne moved on to working with Carrier Sekani Family Services in 2008 and has been here working in the ECD field ever since. As ECD Manager Dawne has been running a range of different programs such as: Canadian Prenatal Nutrition program, Aboriginal Supported Child Development Program, Best Beginnings Outreach Program, Early Years Center and Children’s Oral Health Initiative program.

Danielle Smith

Danielle Smith is of Metis Cree ancestry, with her roots extending from Victoria, BC to High Prairie Alberta.   Being a visitor of Coast Salish Territory for much of her life, Danielle began her career working within the early year’s sector over 21 years ago. Starting as an Early Childhood Educator working in group care, Danielle moved from the child care sector to assisting with the development and implementation of the Aboriginal Early Intervention Team in South Vancouver Island. From here, Danielle accepted the role of Provincial Advisor for Aboriginal Supported Child Development programs supporting the variety of ASCD program across BC, to more recently joining the Provincial Office for the Early Years in May 2014 as the Director of Aboriginal Stakeholder and Community Engagement.

Jessica Stelkia

Jessica Stelkia was born and raised in Oliver B.C. and is a member of the Osoyoos Indian Band. Graduating from the University of British Columbia Okanagan in 2013 with a Major in History Jessica also found her passion in Indigenous Studies while attending the Enowkin Centre summer language and Enowkinwixw programs. Her passion for Okanagan culture and traditions accompanied by her 10 + years of experience coordinating children’s summer programs landed her the role as Inkameep Preschool Daycare Manager fresh out of university. In her three years at Inkameep Preschool Daycare Jessica has coordinated and increased Aboriginal Supported Child Development Programs in her area, advocated for a community early years table, worked in partnership with other community resources for grants and applications and is currently working on an application for an Infant and Toddler facility located in Oliver.

Wendy Kenward

Wendy Kenward originated from the Lower Mainland where she first took her Early Childhood Education training in 1987. Since then Wendy has worked in a variety of early childhood environments including therapeutic preschools and a group child care setting in the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver. While raising a child with special needs, her family made the move to the Okanagan where Wendy initially joined the Child Care Resource & Referral team at Penticton & District Community Resources Society (PDCRS) in 1999. From here, Wendy moved into a variety of roles that fused her experience in the ECE field with her passion for community development. Wendy has been the Coordinator for the CATCH Coalition (Make Children First ECD Coalition) in the Central Okanagan, a founder of Dragonfly Pond Family Society which supports families with children with special needs and Coordinator for the Supported Child Development Program at PDCRS. Wendy’s work as a community development consultant drafting program proposals, grant applications and implementing new initiatives in areas of poverty, women’s rights, childhood development, youth, seniors and health led her to complete her Masters of Arts in Leadership in 2015. Currently is a Team Leader with Penticton & District Community Resources Society (PDCRS) in the South Okanagan Similkameen in the Interior Region. PDCRS is the host agency for the Nqsilt Early Years Centre and Wendy’s role as a Team Leader, is to support community initiatives, such as Nqsilt as they emerge and develop. Wendy is also the Regional Advisor for the Supported Child Development and Infant Child Development Programs in the Interior Region of BC.

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