A new project looks to build better supports for children and families in the area before kids enter kindergarten.  It’s a partnership between the Family Action Network (FAN) and UBC’s Human Early Learning Partnership.

There will be two different questionnaires available over the next year for families with kids between the ages of one and two in Trail and Castlegar. The goal is to gather information which can then help tailor supports, programs and information to address the needs that are identified.

“Even in our school district, school district 20, 110 kindergarten children begin school with developmental or some kind of vulnerability and that is something that we’re looking to change,” said FAN Executive Director Christy Anderson.

There’s no centralized place to gather information on how children are doing in those early years. Anderson is hoping to reach 90 per cent of families to make the supports as effective as possible.

FAN will be partnering with early childhood agencies in Trail and Castlegar such as StrongStart programs, childcare centers, and community programming (Mother Goose etc.). Community partners will help to offer opportunities for families with young children to fill out the Ages and Stages and TDI questionnaires.

The project is funded by the Vancouver Foundation, Teck Metals Ltd., and the Columbia Basin Trust. It’s a pilot project right now and if the work can prove to be effective, Anderson said they’ll likely be able to apply for more funding to continue.

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