PALMERSTON – The County of Wellington’s new EarlyON Child and Family Centre in Palmerston will open its doors to local families on Jan. 4.
The centre was officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nov. 19.
EarlyON and Family Centres are managed by the County of Wellington’s Children’s Early Years Division. The county is the Consolidated Municipal Service Manager of Child Care and Early Years for Wellington County and the City of Guelph. The funding for EarlyON programming is provided by the Government of Ontario.
“This new EarlyON Child and Family Centre is a wonderful asset to the families in Minto,” stated Warden Kelly Linton in a Dec. 8 press release. “EarlyON Child and Family Centres offer safe and welcoming environments open to all families with young children where they can make social connections, find support, resources and advice about parenting and child development.”
When the county first began to manage EarlyON Centres in 2018, there were only two centres in Wellington North and Centre Wellington. The original goal was to have one centre in each municipality. Centres have since opened in Mapleton, Erin, Minto and another centre will open in Guelph/Eramosa in 2022. This means there will be EarlyON centres in six of the seven municipalities. County staff are currently looking to accommodate Puslinch families in a centre located in the south end of Guelph.
“EarlyON Child and Family Centres provide children and families the opportunity to participate in high quality and inquiry-based programming,” commented David Anderson, chair of the county’s social services committee.
“While some EarlyON supports have shifted virtually during the pandemic, the county recognizes the importance of also offering safe, single, household in-person programming to support children and families,” he added.
“Supporting families and caregivers with young children is critical,” said Luisa Artuso, director of the Children’s Early Years Division.
“Research shows us that the early years (birth to age five) are critical in a child’s physical development and in the development of their resilience and soft skills. We are confident that this new centre will be well utilized by the Minto community.”
The Minto EarlyON Child and Family Centre is located at 215 William Street in Palmerston. Registration is required to attend the centre. Visit www.wellington.ca/earlyon for more information.