The Saint John Early Learning Centre (ELC) is a national leader in providing quality early childhood programs and services that address the needs of families with children 0 to 5 years of age, who live in neighbourhoods with high concentrations of poverty. Our local ELC hubs at St. John the Baptist – King Edward and Hazen White – St. Francis schools were developed through community partnerships that play an essential role in serving families in these neighbourhoods to help their children thrive and be ready for Kindergarten.
The establishment of the Early Childhood Hubs in Saint John is rooted in the work of the Saint John Early Childhood Development Coalition and its founding members – the Business-Community Anti- Poverty Initiative (BCAPI), the YMCA of Greater Saint John, the Family Resource Centre, the Anglophone South School District (ASD-S), Horizon Health Network, and the Department of Social Development – which came together in 2003 to develop a new model of early learning to better serve children living in poverty. This was prompted by the results of the 2001 Canadian census, which indicated that Saint John had the highest per capita level of child poverty, among cities in Canada. This early work led to the creation of Saint John’s first Early Learning Centre in 2009, as one of four provincial demonstration projects with the YMCA contracted to manage it. The success of this program inspired the community partners to expand this work and establish Early Childhood Hubs in Saint John North and South.