Four communities now have access to increased supports for young children with the official opening of four new early years centres. The expansion means there is now an early years centre in every school board in the province. “The early years are critical to the success and well-being of children and set the foundation for their future,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey at the opening of the Clarke Rutherford Memorial School centre in Cornwallis. “Government needs to continue to respond to the changing needs of Nova Scotia’s families and that is why I am so pleased to officially open the centres today.” Events were also held at three other centres. On behalf on the Education and Early Childhood Development Minister, Energy Minister Michel Samson opened the centre in École Beau-Port in Arichat, Richmond Co., Conseil scolaire acadien provincial, MLA Terry Farrell opened the centre at West Highlands Elementary School in Amherst, Chignecto-Central Regional School Board, and MLA Suzanne Lohnes-Croft opened the centre in New Germany Elementary School, South Shore Regional School Board. Early years centres are designed to fit the needs of the community, but include core services such as play-based early learning programs for children in the year before entering school, family supports, and resources and regulated child care responsive to family needs. “The community of New Germany is supportive and proud to open its early years centre and create a hub for family support within its Elementary School,” said Mary Chisholm, early years centre lead for South Shore Regional School Board. “Eighteen fresh four-year-olds are enjoying the benefits of our early learning program, and interacting with the staff and students of the school.” The department will continue to expand early years centres across the province as part of the Nova Scotia Action Plan for Education. More information about the plan can be found at www.ednet.ns.ca/educationreview/index.shtml .
A high level delegation including External Affairs Minister Professor G.L Peiris will accompany the President on the visit. Meanwhile the External Affairs Minister will be heading to Pakistan tomorrow to officially invite the Pakistani Prime Minister for the Commonwealth summit in November. President Mahinda Rajapaksa will be travelling to Belarus at the end of this week on an official tour, President’s spokesman Mohan Samaranayake said.He said that the President is expected to be away for at least 4 days but the schedule is yet to be finalized. The External Affairs Ministry said that Peiris is scheduled to have talks with the Pakistan Prime Minister as well as the Foreign Minister during his visit. (Colombo Gazette)Report by Easwaran Rutnam