An Ontario Early Years Centre is a place for parents and caregivers of children aged 0-6 to get information about child development. Regardless of income, cultural or special needs, the Centres are gateways to free services and programs for young children. Each Centre's services are tailored to meet the unique needs of each community. The Centres are staffed with Child Development and Early Years professionals and volunteers.
The Ontario government believes that each community is unique in a child's early years developmental needs. That is why the planning for each Ontario Early Years Centre was community-driven and led by a community champion; something with an existing record of leadership in early child development. In our case, that champion is the Chatham-Kent Children's Services.
CKCS, with help from the Ministry of Community, Family and Children's Services ensured that community partners – organizations that provide services for families with young children – were involved in developing the plans that met both ministry expectations and the needs of the community. The plans ensured that the province of Ontario offers the same basic programs and services.
People living in out-lining communities have the advantage of accessing nearby satellite locations.