Coalition strengthens early childhood education | DrumhellerMail
Last updateSat, 20 Jul 2024 10am

Coalition strengthens early childhood education

    Parents in the community will soon be able to get connected to what’s going on for their tiny tykes thanks to the efforts of the Drumheller and Area Early Childhood Development (DECD) Coalition.
     The  recently formed DECD Coalition and has received a grant from Alberta Education to promote education for kids in kindergarten and younger.
    The DECD Coalition is in the process of assessing the social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development of children from birth to five years old through a survey. Greentree and St. Anthony’s Schools both participated.
    Michelle Hiscox, Early Childhood Development Coordinator, explained that while the results of the survey are still a month from being complete, the DECD Coalition has already begun work on the next step to identify the services available in Drumheller, Delia, and Carbon.
    “The goal is to find what we have and don’t have, and then build on what we don’t. I’ll be going around the community to the different service providers and find out what’s available, from counselling to physical activity,” said Hiscox.
    The DECD Board and volunteers will then be presented with the information and will determine ways to address the identified needs.
    “Some areas we could look at are counselling and social development. I think there’s always room to increase access. That’s one of the things we’d like to do, is build on that and possibly do some fundraising to address the areas where we find need,” said Hiscox.
    To get the information out to parents the plan is to create a resource book.
    “One of the things that’s missing, that the project will do, is give parents a resource base. We’ll be putting together a book on what’s available, who does it, and how to contact them so parents have an easy access,” said Hiscox.
    Another initiative will be creating a children’s fair to showcase the services that are available for parents in the area.
    “What we want to do is showcase service providers in Drumheller who can assist kids with development. We’ll have it open and accessible during hours when parents are available,” said Hiscox.
    The DECD Coalition believes that early childhood development sets the course for a child’s future and determines how well children will do in school, their physical and mental heath, behaviour, relationships, and well-being.
    Members of the community, from service providers, parents, educators, and businesses, are a part of the DECD Coalition.
    “With everybody working in a partnership, with the community to support it, I think that’s how it’ll be successful,” said Hiscox. “I think it’s really important, because as a parent I wasn’t completely aware of all we have in Drumheller. I am aware of a few gaps in services, but if the community comes together it’s going to be a huge benefit for all the kids in our community.”
    The next meeting of the DECD Coalition is today at 2:00 p.m. in the Civic Centre Audio Visual Room, but Hiscox welcomes inquiries from service providers or parents anytime.
    “Parents are a big part of the equation,” said Hiscox. “We need their support and input to find out what needs to be done.”

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