Re­gion ap­proves YMCA for “hub” ser­vices at the Elmira fam­ily cen­tre hosted at River­side PS

The Woolwich Observer - - VENTURE - FAISAL ALI

LOOK FOR THE K-W YMCA to join in the child­care of­fer­ings housed at Elmira’s River­side Pub­lic School, as re­gional coun­cil last week made for­mal an agree­ment with the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

The Novem­ber 14 vote was largely a for­mal­ity, as the re­gion had ear­lier this year cho­sen the YMCA to run its Ear­lyON Child and Fam­ily Cen­tre.

Serv­ing as the “lead” for the pro­gram, the Y re­spon­si­ble for the day-to­day op­er­a­tion of Ear­lyON ser­vices through Water­loo Re­gion, in­clud­ing at the Elmira Fam­ily Cen­tre, lo­cated at River­side PS. The new sub­li­cense agree­ment con­tin­ues the tran­si­tion of oper­at­ing the Ear­lyON Cen­tre at the Elmira lo­ca­tion from the Re­gion of Water­loo to the YMCA.

“The vi­sion for this space has stayed con­sis­tent,” ex­plained Kim Sanguesa, man­ager of early learn­ing ser­vices for the Re­gion of Water­loo. “It’s still go­ing to be a hub where com­mu­nity ser­vice providers will come in and pro­vide ser­vice to chil­dren and fam­i­lies, but it will be op­er­ated un­der the Ear­lyON brand.

“[The sub­li­cense] re­ally just fi­nal­izes that last agree­ment piece. The sub­li­censes were al­ready in place, but it was con­di­tional upon coun­cil ap­proval of the sub­li­cense. The in­ten­tion to have it as a hub has been there from the be­gin­ning, so this was just a bit more of a for­mal­ity and mak­ing it a fi­nal ap­proval,” she added.

Coun­cil­lors also ap­proved a sep­a­rate sub­li­cense agree­ment with the Elmira Com­mu­nity Nurs­ery School, al­low­ing it to con­tinue oper­at­ing a half-day com­mu­nity nurs­ery pro­gram at the Elmira cen­tre. The nurs­ery school was also a ten­ant at the pre­vi­ous lo­ca­tion of the Elmira chil­dren’s cen­tre.

Ser­vices at the nurs­ery school are ex­pected to con­tinue as is.

“We’re still alive and well, and lov­ing our new space. It’s quite a beau­ti­ful space,” said Diane Martin, a reg­is­tered early child­hood ed­u­ca­tor hired to su­per­vise the nurs­ery pro­gram, of the River­side Pub­lic School lo­ca­tion.

The Ear­lyON Cen­tre, sim­i­larly, is not see­ing any im­me­di­ate change, but will likely con­tinue to adapt and grow as the YMCA con­tin­ues lead­ing the ser­vice.

“What’s hap­pen­ing here for fam­i­lies [looks] very sim­i­lar to what it did when the re­gion was di­rectly oper­at­ing it,” said Sanguesa. “But the ben­e­fit that the Y be­ing the lead agency for the whole sys­tem across our re­gion, they can then lever­age the part­ner­ships that they al­ready have ex­ist­ing at some of the child and fam­ily sites to bring those ser­vices and those ser­vice providers to this lo­ca­tion.”

The Ear­lyON brand was launched in early 2018 by the prov­ince of On­tario to bring a num­ber of dis­tinct child and fam­ily ser­vices of­fered by the prov­ince un­der one roof.

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