There’s much to be learned from the benefits of early childhood education programs.
That from Hastings County Community Services Director Connor Dorey.
He says the county is about to launch a campaign to educate more people about the benefits of early year programs, in hopes of making the child care industry stronger.
“The starting part of the project is going to find ways to communicate some of the key facts of the child care and early years sectors and share those through our social media challenges and presentations; whatever we can do to show the benefits for children and the benefits of communities in providing this important care,” he says. “From there, we’re going to build off and work with the child care sector to find ways we can enhance the programs themselves. How can we entice or recruit more individuals within the sector?”
Dorey says the campaign will spread word of the benefits of child care, both in terms of children’s development and for the workforce. For instance, he says the Conference Board of Canada says that every $1 invested in early childhood programs leads to $6 of economic return.
He says the awareness campaign is, hopefully, the first step in a long-term plan to build a better child care system, with more spaces for parents.
“What happens next is finding all the ways that we can to enhance the system; a more fullsome ECE recruitment strategy, working with our communities to understand where spaces need to be developed, the types of spaces and programs that are needed in the communities; continuing the conversation to make sure this isn’t just a strategy, but this is building a system for years to come.”
A recent survey released by the county will also help county planners address day care needs, locally.
Dorey says the county is trying to understand where, in the county, more day care spots are needed and what barriers are preventing some parents from accessing care.
For now, Dorey says the best thing the public can do now is watch for the information that will come out through Hastings County’s website and social media.