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, MLA St. James
June 27, 2013

Horizons and Discovery Child Care

Mr. Speaker, any working parent will attest that it is essential to know that qualified, dedicated and caring staff are watching our children in our absence, people who appreciate our little ones for who they are and who are helping them learn and grow. In St. James, we are fortunate to have multiple quality child-care centres that draw people from other parts of the city, and today I rise to commend an amazing child-care facility in our area.

Horizons and Discovery children's centres are two non-profit organizations that share a stand‑alone facility and a philosophy to provide care that helps foster children's physical, emotional, social and intellectual development. Directors Sandra Rogan of Horizons and Ron Blatz of Discovery, with their professional team of early childhood educators and child-care assistants, work with children and parents to provide developmentally appropriate creative programming so that children can get the most out of their early years. Their programs encourage exploration in the outdoors and as many encounters with the natural world as possible.

There's also a significant focus on achieving gender balance in the centre to highlight the importance of the roles played by both men and women in the development of our children. Furthermore, Discovery Children's Centre is one of the only daycares in the city that has a program to accommodate parents in shift work to ensure that families have the options they need to balance work and home life.

The Minister of Family Services and Labour (Ms. Howard) and I recently had the pleasure of visiting Discovery for an announcement. The minister is expanding the workforce-based early childhood education diploma program. This accelerated program will train child-care professionals to be ECEs while working in the field, studying two days a week and learning on the job the other three.

And I was there again at the Horizons Discovery annual family fun daycare–day with my own children. Mr. Speaker, It was a very well-attended, multi‑generational event that had a wide variety of creative activities and entertainment for the children that clearly reflected the family philosophy that these two centres promote.

The experiences that children have in their early years shape their futures. I would like to acknowledge and thank the Horizons and Discovery children's centres, their dedicated directors and child‑care professionals everywhere for their hard work in ensuring that our children grow up healthy and happy.

Thank you very much.