Understanding the Early Years
Selkirk-Interlake

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Community

Invested relationshipUEY Selkirk-Interlake Community
The UEY Selkirk-Interlake area encompasses all communities within the Lord Selkirk School Division boundaries.   It includes the historic City of Selkirk and stretches along both sides of the Red River, from the southern suburban communities of Lockport and St. Andrew's, through the farming areas of Clandeboye, Petersfield, East Selkirk and Libau, to the lakeshore communities of Grand Marais and Victoria Beach on Lake Winnipeg.   

The region covers an urban area of 1760 square kilometers.  The City of Selkirk is the center of the community for economic, medical, social, and educational services.  It is also the hub where most shopping, sporting, entertainment, and services are found.  There are green spaces and parks throughout the region, but play structures for children outside Selkirk are limited to those located at school only.  A wide variety of programs and services are available to parents with children ages 0-6, although most are centralized in the City of Selkirk.

In 2006, the population of the UEY Selkirk-Interlake region was 27 240 people.  Of this number, 1815 were children aged birth to six years, making up 6.7% of the population.

The Project
- 3 year project ending March 2010
- $296, 152 investment by the Government of Canada (http://www.canada.gc.ca)  under the Understanding the Early Years initiative (http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/hip/sd/UEY2006/uey_overview.shtml)
- Sponsored by: Lord Selkirk School Division (www.lssd.ca)
- Community coalition: Southeast Interlake Early Childhood Development Coalition (www.familyconnections.ca)
- Project coordinator: Arlene Kinden
- Project researcher: Karin Rensfelt
- Key activities and research
        . Inventory of Community Programs and Services
        . Early Development Instrument (EDI)
        . Parent Interviews and Direct Assessment of Children (PIDACS)
        . Transfer of knowledge plan    
        . Community maps
        . Community action plan

How can you promote Early Childhood Develop in your community?

A. Community Members
        As a good citizen of your village, there are many ways to help out:

1. Make connections with the children and families in your neighbourhood. Make sure you are known to parents as well as kids. To the level that you are comfortable with, step up when a neighbour needs a hand. Share information about local programs and services you use in the community.

2. Get active in community events - help out at your community's celebrations and festivals (e.g. National Child Day event, Children’s Festival, concerts at the waterfront, etc.). When you build community, you strengthen the web of social relationships that supports all of us, including families and children.

3. At election time, make sure the candidates you vote for have a clear, supportive position on issues such as child care, family friendly community development, mixed-income neighbourhoods and affordable accessible public transportation. These all help build the kind of communities children thrive in.

4. Volunteer with Early Childhood Development initiatives. Many programs and services are operated by non-profit organizations and rely on community members for governance and for program support. Contact individual programs in your community or go through the volunteer centre. Visit the local Southeast Interlake Early Childhood Development Coalition website at www.familyconnections.ca .

5. Complete your census form.  In Canada, the census is the only reliable source of detailed data for small groups (such as lone-parent families, ethnic groups, industrial and occupational categories and immigrants) and for areas as small as a city neighbourhood or as large as the country itself.  This population count provides the demographic information used to make decisions regarding the many services government and business provide to the public.  For more information on why the census is important, click here - http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census06/reference/info/faq.cfm

B. Members of the Business Community
        As a corporate citizen, you can advance the interests of children and families through:
. Understanding and implementing child and family friendly business practices
. Human resources policies that support a balance between work and family life.
. Corporate donations and workplace fundraising directed towards early childhood development initiatives.  (i.e. The Southeast Interlake Early Childhood Development Coalition provides 12-15 programs each year.  Donations of or toward space, materials, snacks, etc can go a long way.)
. “Loaned” staff participation with charitable organizations and civil society initiatives that build healthy, safe, literate, child friendly communities

For more background on why business needs to take a keen interest in our youngest children, read the persuasive evidence presented by these senior leaders in the financial sector:
. Charles Coffey, Executive Vice President, Government Affairs & Business Development, RBC Financial Group Count Business In... (2004)


C. Social Group and Service Club Members
You and your group members are essential to the social fabric of our communities. The part you play in building networks, sharing inspiration and information, fundraising, and carrying out local projects helps build strong and vibrant communities.

Consider taking on a project for children and families in your community:
. Sponsor children to participate in local recreation opportunities
. Help to create or maintain a neighbourhood park
. Support a local child care facility to meet their needs for equipment and supplies
. Advocate to ensure local government creates and maintains a community that is 'liveable' for everyone. There are many, many possibilities.

IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD ~ Ancient African Proverb






The Understanding the Early Years initiative is funded by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.  For further information, visit www.hrsdc.gc.ca