Early Childhood Hubs

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.


  1. To increase family engagement in early childhood learning and skill-building to help every child succeed in school and life.
  2. To strengthen the oral language and early literacy proficiency of children and ensure they have the foundational social and academic skills that are essential for school success.
  3. To improve family well-being by providing them with the resources and adult programming to help them be confident parents, build healthy child development and parenting skills, further their personal goals for improved health, education, and employment, and connect families to the expertise and opportunities in the broader community.
  4. To ensure high quality, comprehensive services and eliminate cost as a barrier to participation.

Silvia Borsic | Family Resource Centre

Monica Chaperlin | Business Community Anti-Poverty Initiative

Adrienne Boudreau | Chief Operating Officer, YMCA of Greater Saint John

Avril Wood Toner | Manager, Early Learning Program and Development in Child Care and After School, YMCA of Greater Saint John

Lissa McNaughton-Dickie | Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

Dr. Anne Murphy Savoie | Developmental Paediatrician

Christine Roy | Principal, St. John the Baptist-King Edward School

Megan Donovan | Principal, Hazen White-St. Francis School

Contact Us

Avril Wood Toner, Manager,Early Learning Program and Development | +1-506-506-349-6223 | a.woodtoner@saintjohny.ca