(From left) Connie Doucette, administrative assistant with the NSCC Early Childhood Development Support Centre; Donna Barrett, the centre’s coordinator; and Michelle Doucette-Wallace, faculty, early childhood education, NSCC Burridge.
ERIC BOURQUE PHOTO
By Eric Bourque
A decade has passed since the province launched its early childhood development support centres at three campuses of the Nova Scotia Community College – including Burridge in Yarmouth – and on Thursday, Oct. 3, the local NSCC campus will be the site of an event commemorating 10 years of service.
The plan that day is to have an open house at the Burridge centre from noon to 6:30 p.m.
“People in the community can come in and take a look at the support centre,” said Donna Barrett, the Yarmouth centre’s coordinator, “and at that time we also will be having display boards, which will be showcasing our work over the past 10 years.”
The facility is a resource centre for students, early learning and childcare professionals, caregivers and the community. NSCC also has early childhood development support centres at its Kingstec and Cumberland campuses in Kentville and Springhill, respectively.
The centres’ resources include a lending library (featuring books, activity kits, magazines, journals etc.), online support (the website can be found at www.ecdsc.nscc.ca) and access to computer software, printer, laminator and various other materials for use with children in early childhood settings.
The centre offers professional opportunities, including workshops, conferences, mentoring, networking and partnering with other agencies.
Michelle Doucette-Wallace, the first coordinator of the early childhood development support centre at Burridge, says creating the centres helped spread around opportunities for training and the like.
“Everybody in our field of early childhood in our area had to travel to Halifax for these types of things: workshops, resources,” she said. “It’s much easier for them to get that required allotment now that the support centres are (in place) to offer that.”
But centres like the one in Yarmouth are for the community too, not just for people who work in early childhood.
“It’s not just people that work in a daycare,” Doucette said. “It’s people that work with children, whether they be just parents that work in a bank or wherever or people that work in the school system. It’s pretty much open to the community.”
Doucette, who now teaches in Burridge’s early childhood education program, says there is a good partnership between the faculty and the centre.
Looking back over the past decade, she says the centre’s success wouldn’t have been possible without support from the community and from the early childhood sector.
Barrett shares her predecessor’s assessment and says the idea for the Oct. 3 event is “to celebrate and showcase the things that we have done.”