The construction of the Elmira Children’s Centre is on schedule, and now the Region of Waterloo wants to hear from the community.
Along with the planned licensed childcare facility and daycare already going into the new Riverside Public School, the plan is to open up a family resource centre in the near future.
Although construction will be completed before the beginning of the new school year in September, the region is taking the time to plan the family resource portion, scheduled to be open in 2017.
On Apr. 26, Nancy Dickieson, the director of children’s services with the region, is inviting all parents and interested stakeholders to share their thoughts about the services that could be included in the family resource aspect of the centre.
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She says it has been a long time coming.
“We are really quite excited about the potential that can be offered to the community with all of the new space and the co-location model,” she said, adding that the project really relies on public input. “There has been some discussion already, but we are in the very early stages and really do want to hear from the community first before we make any final decisions on who some of our partners will be in using this space.”
The meeting is open to anyone who wants to share their thoughts or ideas, but what the region is really looking for are thoughts that will enhance the space, and use it to its full potential.
“We are looking for other options for services, or services that are currently being offered in the Elmira area that someone wants more space, or to offer additional days,” said Dickieson. “It is pretty open right now. We are looking for ideas on where the need it and whether there is demand for some services to be increased. We know that there are already some great resources already in Elmira, like the Kids and I Family Resource Centre, which would be on example, but there may be other things, or a need to expand services to the other end of Elmira.”
Ideas should not be limited to a service that would need fulltime space in the new building.
“It may be a service that is there one day of the week, and other services are there other days of the week,” said Dickieson. “We are trying to keep it very open and flexible at this point in time. We really do want to have public input on this. This is an opportunity that doesn’t always come along. We are quite excited about it.”
The ideas gathered from the community will be put together with focused consultations in order to make final decisions for the family resource space.
The meeting starts at 6 p.m. on Apr. 26 at the Lions Hall in Elmira.