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A Neighbourhood Hub: Open House Celebration at New Ecole Qayqayt Early Years Centre

Grandparents, families and children are discovering a new home in New Westminster Schools’ École Qayqayt Early Years Centre, part of a school-based community service hub for the downtown New Westminster community that is fast becoming the life of the neighbourhood.

“Our centre has involved a huge community collaboration and we are very excited and proud of it,” said New Westminster Schools Associate Superintendent Janet Grant.

The public is invited to celebrate the success of the many partnerships engaging children and their families during the Early Years Centre Open House Tuesday, September 27, at 9:30 a.m. at École Qayqayt Elementary School, 85 Merivale Street.

Learning for Life…

The École Qayqayt Early Years Centre makes it easier for families to get the information, services and supports they need to strengthen their children’s development from age 0 to 6, setting them on a path of discovery and learning. Programs offered at the Early Years Centre since it opened this spring include a grandparents’ early literacy program, a parent education series, and FLY: Fun Learning and You! A new pre-school exploration program starts this fall and, to top it all off, there are Family Fun Nights too.

More than half a dozen agencies are engaged at the Early Years Centre in educating and enriching the lives of children, their families and their guardians in New Westminster. The Open House provides an opportunity to meet many of the partners:

  • Lower Mainland Purpose Society for Youth and Families
  • Family Services Society of Greater Vancouver
  • Cameray Child and Family Services
  • New Westminster Parks and Recreation
  • New Westminster Family Place
  • Qayqayt Parent Advisory Committee

A Hub of Activity

The Early Years Centre is part of the Qayqayt School Neighbourhood Learning Centre (NLC), one of two in the school district with the addition of an NLC at the newly opened Fraser River Middle School. Neighbourhood Learning Centres are a recent BC initiative allowing school boards to build community hubs within newly constructed schools.

“At Qayqayt in New Westminster, we have really accomplished what we set out to do: we have a wonderful array of programs and services that are accessible and affordable and meet the needs of our families,” Grant said. “And it’s all in one place.”

Rick Bloudell, community school coordinator, said the school has become a gateway bringing people in the community together, helping address the lack of meeting and community space in what is a fast-changing neighbourhood.

École Qayqayt Early Years centre is funded as part of the BC Early Years Strategy, supported by the Kids New West Child Development Committee, and hosted by the Lower Mainland Purpose Society for Youth and Families. The centre also offers toddler care programs supporting individual and group play, children’s self-esteem, social interactions and preparation for school entry. It all adds up to creating positive feelings about learning that will last a lifetime…