Connections Early Years Family Centre began its story in 1974 with a group of committee volunteers at St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Old Walkerville, Windsor, Ontario who recognized the importance of providing supportive programs for families with preschool children in Windsor and Essex County.
The Agency moved to the present location at 795 Giles Blvd. East in 1986, incorporated as a non-profit agency and received charitable status in 1987. Managed by a community board and a small staff, the programs that were offered included parenting courses, play groups and a Toy Lending Library.
The reputation for excellence, creative thinking and parent involvement grew throughout the years earning recognition from provincial and national organizations.
In 1998 Dr. Fraser Mustard, the co-author of the provincial study of the Early Years, hosted a focus group with parents at Connections Early Years Family Centre. Afterwards he described the Agency as a “strong early childhood and parenting centre”.
Community partnerships were viewed as crucial components of a flexible delivery service and collaborative events with community partners became a strong focus for the agency. In 2004 the Centre became the lead agency for the Talk 2 Me Program. This allowed the two programs to develop a service system that works together with families to achieve positive outcomes for their children.
The Centre continues to strive to achieve excellence in service delivery and in 2009 the Board of Directors, staff and parents began the process of developing and implementing a new strategic plan. This plan will guide the decisions and move the direction of the agency towards an exciting future for the families in this community.
Connections Early Years Family Centre is a leadership organization that is:
- Recognized locally, provincially and nationally for its integrated model of early learning supports; is
- Physically accessible and user-friendly for all; is
- Strengthening the structure of the organization and the delivery of supports; and is,
- Focused on building relationships within and outside of the organization.
Connections Early Years Family Centre believes it takes time to earn trust and therefore will gain trust by always demonstrating the values of the organization.
Connections Early Years Family Centre believes in welcoming everyone in to the organization, respecting all opinions and not judging people for their differences.
Connections Early Years Family Centre believes in considering all aspects of the family. Families bring strengths and through participation they gain better awareness of their strengths and share their strengths with one another.
Connections Early Years Family Centre believes in a supportive environment where people have a sense of belonging and where partnerships are built which leads to a stronger community.
Connections Early Years Family Centre believes in continually seeking out and evaluating opportunities to develop cutting edge programs, learn new techniques and grow as professionals.
Connections Early Years Family Centre believes in a creative and dynamic organization that changes to address the needs of children, families and community.