Nancy Hurley has taken the lead as the full time Centre Administrator for the Old Millbrook School EarlyON Centre. She brings to the job more than seventeen years in the Early Learning and Care Community, much of it in Hamilton. A few years ago she relocated near the area and is well entrenched here now with two dogs of her own and those she fosters through a local Animal Rescue Organization. There is another full time staff and a part time staff to be added to the roster at the EarlyOn Centre in the near future.
Nancy is working with the current board of the Old Millbrook School Family Centre (OMSFC) to develop expanded program offerings made possible by the recent funding announcement. The centre’s new status requires the provision of a suite of core Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centres (OEYCFC) services in the area directly and in partners with other local organizations .
The Millbrook centre will now be referred to as an EarlyON Centre, offering increased programs, hours of service and areas served, all free of charge. The mandate also expands to include children up to the age of twelve. Services will focus on children as well as their parents and caregivers, who will receive support aimed at strengthening parenting skills, supporting parent education and fostering healthy child development delivered by qualified professionals. Sessions will include information sharing about child development, nutrition and play-based learning and facilitating connections with specialized community services.
Programming will be offered five days per week, but not always at the Millbrook location. The times will vary as well to allow families with different schedules the opportunity to participate. Nancy will extend and develop partnerships with local organizations such as Public Health and Centennial Place, where the bi-weekly programming will eventually run every week. Programming will also be provided during PA days and March break. There are also discussions with Hiawatha First Nations for an outreach program for these families.
The current facilities will be renovated with fresh coats of paint and some new furniture, but because there are two rooms available, one will remain open during regular program times. More outdoor activities will be incorporated into the program, and the Community Garden has donated a garden plot for the program and some seeds have already been started. Weather permitting, outdoor picnics will replace potluck dinners during the summer months.
The most immediate change is the extension of Stay ‘n Play activities days to include Sunday beginning in June. The centre will host its Annual General Meeting on June 20th at 6:30 pm. Call 705-932-2088 to get directions.
This is an exciting and welcome opportunity for young local families. For more information, visit www.millbrookfamilycentre.com. KG