Parents, take note.
A new childcare initiative, titled the Family Action Network (FAN), is underway.
The focus of FAN is to set up a directory to make available and integrate all preschool-based resources available in the Lower Columbia.
“It is just a spider web of information out there right now,” said Mayor of Fruitvale, Patricia Cecchini.
“Our vision is to make available seamless integrated support services, so that parents will have one source to access all services.”
Cecchini said that the society is busy finalizing its strategic plan and list of projects, but high in priority, is the incentive to create a FAN website.
Ideally, the website would offer an action-oriented support network for families with infants and young children and serve as a base to help unify resources available to Lower Columbia families.
In addition, a high in priority is to assign a regional coordinator to the project, said Cecchini.
The coordinator would collaborate with various resources to promote unity of services between communities.
“For example, we have children who need occupational therapy, and speech therapy,” she said.
“Now, they have to drive to Castlegar or farther to access the services.”
She explained that FAN has a goal to work collaboratively and share services between townships rather than communities and organizations operating on their own.
Cecchini said that the first event sponsored by FAN was the ‘Ages and Stages’ day, held on Feb. 12.
“We were able to bring many resources together under one roof (Kiro Wellness Centre), and set up different stations,” she explained.
Forty children, up to five-years old, were screened, and parents had the opportunity to meet with various service providers to learn about healthy early childhood development.
However, before the initiative can move forward, an application for funding to Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) is in the works.
At the March 11th Warfield council meeting, Mayor Bert Crockett said that bringing together community resources ‘under one umbrella” is beneficial to all parents, especially those new to the area.
However, as the project does not qualify to be funded by a municipality, he fully supported the initiative in a letter to the CBT.