For the past 10 years, CATCH and Success by 6 have been working together to promote the importance of the Early Years in our community, helping to make sure that every child has the very best start in life. In 2018, this important work will continue under a new name - The Central Okanagan Early Years Partnership.
Helen Jackman, executive director of United Way said 'This new name is a real symbol of the strength of our local Early Years partnership. Having a unified, single identity and voice will help us ensure everyone understands how important the early years are - not only for every child but for the future of our community and local economy. I'm really proud of the team and all the partners involved in this journey'.
This new level of integration will serve to reduce duplication and create more opportunities for community involvement. As well, coming together will strengthen the relationships of those working with children and families in our community. There are many individuals and organizations involved who are passionate and committed to the families and young children in our region. Those who have been involved in CATCH and Success by 6 will continue to inform and support the work of the Early Years community.
Celine Thompson, executive director of The Bridge Youth & Family Services, believes 'the integrated and collaborative approach taken by the Early Years partnership is now fully reflected in the new name and branding. A common vision shared by everyone at the table, reflecting the shared values, awareness of needs, and collective activities to support families in this community. I am looking forward to the momentum this builds for all families in days and years to come.'
Today’s announcement is the result of a thorough two-year process. The Ministry of Children and Family Development and Success By 6 BC, along with their partners the Credit Unions of BC, and the United Way are to be acknowledged for their continued support of the work in our community.
Another change happened when Westbank First Nation elder, Grouse Barnes gave the Aboriginal early years table a new Nsyilxcen (Okanagan) name: Suxkenxitelx kl cecamala, meaning 'those who care for the children'. Formerly known as Aboriginal CATCH, Suxkenxitelx kl cecamala will continue to work on similar goals with the Early Years partnership.
The view from here is optimistic about having one strong and united voice for young children and families in the Central Okanagan.
About the Central Okanagan Early Years Partnership:
The Central Okanagan Early Years Partnership is built on the knowledge that early child development sets the foundation for young children to grow to their fullest potential. We work to build a coordinated, effective, and inclusive community-driven system for the early years. Our role is to raise awareness about the importance of the early years and leverage resources and partnerships to increase the collaboration of Early Years services. Our vision is that “The Central Okanagan is the best community possible for all young children and their families.”
Community Action Towards Children’s Health is a provincially funded Children’s First initiative that has been guided by a coalition of early years focused organizations and individuals in the Central Okanagan since 1999. Our purpose is to work together to make the Central Okanagan the best place to raise young children.
About Success by 6:
Success By 6 is a Provincial partnership of United Ways, Credit Unions of BC, the BC Government and Aboriginal and community leaders. Success By 6 strengthens community through engaging citizens in building child- and family-friendly communities and funding programs. Success By 6 is dedicated to helping every child succeed in life.