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In the Beginning

While working as a kindergarten teacher at an inner city Regina school, Anne Luke became increasingly concerned by the challenges facing children from low-income families. In early 1977, she conducted a door-to-door survey in the city’s North Central neighbourhood to see if there was interest in developing a unique preschool program. What she learned confirmed her belief that parents knew having an education was important in breaking the cycle of poverty and children needed extra help if they were going to succeed. Parents were very interested in working with Anne to develop a preschool.

Anne and the parents found a small building in the inner city and, with volunteer help, the Early Learning Centre opened its doors to ten children in October, 1977. Anne was their teacher. Muriel Lerat, a parent volunteer, became the second staff person. Anne and Muriel combined their unique experiences in formal early education and practical low-income living to create the curriculum. This blend of community experience and proven educational theory remains a practice in the Centre today.

The Centre has grown over time. As well as the Preschool Program, the Centre now offers home-based programs, including the Parents as Teachers  and KidsFirst programs. Almost 40 years later, through this growth, the Centre has remained true to its original vision of working in partnership with parents to support the healthy development of young children.

 
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"We also saw the teachers encouraging the children to take initiatives and to collaborate with each other. The children were not cosseted, but given genuine freedom to choose. Through dialogue with their teachers these choices are then transformed into purposeful activities."


  Last updated September 2017
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Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada