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Edmonton City Centre

Who we are:

Vision:
To better understand the community assets required on a local level for positive early child development and promote parent-guardian-community involvement in healthy early child development.

Purpose:
The Coalition is committed to working with and hearing from parents, more specifically the intercultural families that are hard to reach and other community partners to increase overall knowledge and understanding of the early years, and to enhance environments and services to enrich children’s lives and help them attain their full potential.

We will do this by:
– Understanding the present Family Context (Socio-economic condition) as well as pre-migration circumstances for newcomer families.
– Hearing from parents their cultural perspectives on and understanding of ECD.
– Gathering what parents experiences are with services and resources (And what the barriers are that prevent access)
– Hear from parents what they feel are the GAPS
– Hear what their aspirations are for their them and children

Where we’ve been:

We are part of a rich history of establishing the foundations of health and well-being in the early years with the collaborative support of parents, families, caregivers, and our community.

Many social development pilot projects have come and gone in Edmonton City Centre neighbourhoods over the years. The research data provided by — and the community-based and early development focus adopted by — the Early Child Development Mapping Research Project (ECMap) convinced three established organizations to take the lead in forming a coalition. The Norwood Child and Family Resource Centre, Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers and Multicultural Health Brokers became the core team, coordinating efforts and information and bringing families and stakeholders into the project.

City Centre is diverse, even within subcommunities. Central McDougall and Queen Mary Park are home to many new immigrant families, for example, while Rossdale and Riverdale are coveted addresses for upscale professionals, and Oliver is a mix of lower- and middle-class residents. Some neighbourhoods are experiencing rapid redevelopment and gentrification, especially the poorest communities closest to downtown. The demographics of low-income areas such as Boyle will change as more affluent newcomers move in, perhaps displacing long-time residents.

Given City Centre’s unique history, the core team felt it was essential to hear parents’ voices, especially from intercultural and hard-to-reach families. The team wanted to gain a better understanding of cultural contexts and attitudes towards child-rearing and family roles and to engage families in meaningful discussions about positive early development. The first step is simply to talk with parents in natural gathering places, such as local cafes, playgrounds, houses of worship, and find out what’s important to them, their hopes for themselves and their children, and the barriers and lack of support that they may encounter in raising their children. We then shared these stories through a Coalition created book.

We continue to create, develop and implement an annual Coalition Community Action Plan (CCAP). The action plan includes measurable goals and provides details on the actions and activities that will contribute towards achieving the goals. The CCAP focuses on increasing awareness and understanding of early childhood development and available resources, engaging community, collaborating with stakeholders and building our capacity.

Where we’re going:

Come join us as we continue to create and sustain positive change for young children and families. Let’s build a foundation of health and well-being in the early years that will last a lifetime.

Our membership is open to all of the community and often includes parents, grandparents, Early Learning and Care providers, educators, health care workers, librarians, non-profit organizations, entrepreneurs, community groups, and service providers.
Contact us to learn more about our Coalition and how to be involved.

GET IN TOUCH

Be active in the early years of your child and in the community!Be part of the group of parents, caregivers, professionals who take small steps to be engaged or If you would like to contribute to the Coalition or receive more information, please send us an email. We want to hear your opinion! Get in Touch with Your Local Coalition!

Find your Local Coalition