Programs & Services - Family and Community - Neighbourhood Learning Centres
Neighbourhood Learning Centre
As part of the plan to build our two most recent schools, the New Westminster School District secured funding from the BC Government’s Neighbourhood Learning Centres (NLC) program to build dedicated community-use space at Qayqayt Elementary and Fraser River Middle schools. We are very excited to have these NLCs and to be able to offer an array of programs and services to serve neighbourhood needs.
As part of the process to get approval for the Neighbourhood Learning Centre space, the school district went through an extensive community consultation process. The community wanted to see programs and services in the following areas:
- Early Learning;
- Child Care (Group and School-Age Care);
- Child Development;
- Counselling and Family Support;
- Immigrant Support Services (Settlement and Adaptation); and,
- Arts and Culture.
A Neighbourhood Learning Centre Task Force also recommended that programs and services should:
- Complement existing school-based, community programs or services;
- Contribute to community literacy and lifelong learning;
- Enhance student readiness for learning success;
- Facilitate community-building and social interaction; and,
- Include people of different abilities, ages, cultures and incomes.
The school district currently has two Neighbourhood Learning Centres. The École Qayqayt Elementary School NLC supports programming and services for families with children 0 to 6, and includes an Early Years Centre and licensed child care for toddlers and children 3-5 years old.
The NLC at Fraser River Middle School focuses primarily on programs and services for families with children 6 – 12 years old and also includes a licensed child care for infants, toddler and 3-5 year olds.
Early Years Centre at the Qayqayt NLC
The Qayqayt Early Years Centre is one of 47 BC Early Years Centres that have opened across British Columbia with the help of funding from the Province’s B.C. Early Years Strategy. The centres are tailored to meet the unique needs of each community and provide a wide variety of programming for families with children 0 – 6 years old.
In New Westminster, the Kids New West Child Development Committee supported the development of the Early Years Centre that is now housed in the École Qayqayt Community School Neighbourhood Learning Centre. The centre provides families living in the downtown neighbourhood with greater access to programming for young children aged 0-6. The centre offers programs provided by partner organizations such as the Lower Mainland Purpose Society, New Westminster Family Place, Cameray Child and Family Services, Family Services of Greater Vancouver, and New Westminster Parks and Recreation.