Parenting and Family Literacy Centres are Now Open!
Major Ballachey: 105 Rawdon Street, Brantford | Princess Elizabeth: 60 Tecumseh Street, Brantford
The Ontario Government began funding Parent and Family Literacy Centres (PFLCs) in 2007-08 and has expanded the network each year. Currently there are 172 PFLCs in 19 school boards across the province. The approach is based on a pre-existing program in the Toronto District School Board.
In 2012-13 the government invested $11.6 million to support the 155 existing centres and to open 17 new centres.
As part of the Poverty Reduction strategy (December 2008) the government committed to increase the number of PFLCS to 300 across the province over time.
On August 22, 2012 the government released Ontario’s Youth Action Plan, a 20-point balanced approach to promote positive youth development and foster safer communities. The first principle, Early Intervention, indicated Parenting and Family Literacy Centres would be expanded to an additional 17 sites in at-risk neighbourhoods across Ontario. As part of this expansion, four PFLCs were announced for Brantford – two sites for Grand Erie and 2 sites for our coterminous board.
PFLCs are school-based programs for parents and children of preschool age. The program offers play-based learning activities that focus on the optimal development of the child and early acquisition of literacy and numeracy. Children’s early learning and development are supported through play while the foundations are laid for a successful transition to school. The main goals of PFLCs are:
- To provide optimal child development through positive parent-child interaction;
- To offer a family literacy program that develops early literacy and numeracy which provides the foundation for early learning;
- To increase parents’ knowledge, involvement and comfort level with schools;
- To help children transition more easily to kindergarten by supporting Centre staff and
- Kindergarten teachers to work together;
- To support the Ministry of Education’s key priorities for high levels of student achievement and reduced gaps in student achievement; and
- To facilitate early identification of children with special needs.
All PFLCs are located in elementary schools and staff are hired, trained, directly supervised by, and accountable to the school board. There is a common delivery model that is aligned with the Ontario Kindergarten program and designed to facilitate a successful transition to Kindergarten. The programs are free-of-charge, ensuring universal access by all families. PFLCs only operate when schools are in session.