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Early childhood development gets a boost from the government.


The Sea to Sky Community Services Society received $100,000 from the provincial government this month to support early childhood development.

The society, which will administer the funding for the local initiative, ministry staff and local early childhood development providers have formed a committee to guide the project in partnership with the Mt. Currie, N'Quatqua, Samahquam, Skatin and Squamish First Nations.

Subcommittees for Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton have been established to address specific community needs.

"We know from world-wide research that health, well-being and coping skills are strongly influenced in the first six years of life," said Ted Nebbeling, MLA for West Vancouver-Garibaldi

"I want to acknowledge the many people who have given their time, knowledge and experience to supporting our youngest children and their families."

The funding is part of the government's province-wide Children First Learning Initiatives, which co-ordinate the efforts of a broad range of community partners to address service gaps in communities and identify children at risk.

Prince George, Grand Forks, Port Alberni, Kelowna, Cranbrook and the Chilliwack-to-Boston Bar corridor are already involved in the project, with planned expansion to another 10 communities by the end of 2003.

The project in the Whistler/Squamish/ Pemberton area is known as the Putting Children FirstLearning Site.

"We are acting on our New Era commitment to invest in early development services that prevent crisis situations before they arise," said Linda Reid, Minister of State for Early Childhood Development.

"Healthy children and families are the foundation of strong communities. "Locally-delivered programs are most likely to reflect community needs and improve social, emotional and educational outcomes for our children."

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