A new facility for children aged 0-6 will offer early learning, health and family services when it opens in Smithers in April.
Hosted by the Bulkley Valley Child Development Centre, the B.C. Early Years Centre will be located at 1471 Columbia Drive.
Community-based play groups, a toy and resource lending library, consultation and referrals to early child development resources will be among the services offered at the centre.
The Smithers facility is one of 14 being opened across the province in 2015, bringing the number of centres in B.C. to 26.
The Provincial Office for the Early Years will provide each centre with $52,000 this year as part of $5.5 million allocated to the project over three years.
The new centres, implemented under the B.C. Early Years Strategy, will aim to provide families with convenient access to a range of services and improve accessibility and affordability of early-learning programs.
Bulkley Valley Child Development Centre executive director Kerri Bassett said the centre would be a referral hub to early childhood development services for the communities of Moricetown, Smithers and Telkwa.
“The centre will align with our vision of ‘inspiring strength in families and exploring the potential in children and youth’,” said Bassett.
Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux said the province wanted to provide services that helped kids reach their full potential.
“B.C. Early Years Centres bring together a range of health, early learning, child-care and family development programs and supports that are tailored to the needs of their local community,” she said.