Kids Can’t Wait: After decade of neglect, thousands losing out on early childhood intervention in BC
After a decade of neglect for Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) in British Columbia, waitlists and wait times are growing, service providers are being stretched past their limits and thousands of preschoolers with special needs are losing out, aging out and being left behind.
Families, along with agency leaders and professionals who provide ECI in community-based programs across BC, have a simple message about the urgency of fixing this: #KidsCantWait!
The very successful launch of the #KidsCantWait ECI campaign on January 4, the Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) Working Group generated lots of attention right across the province.
Their press release drew attention from major provincial media, media interviews with members of the ECI Working Group and reports in the Vancouver Sun, CBC and others. Inclusion BC’s Faith Bodnar also did live interviews on CBC’s Early Edition with Rick Cluff and on Pulse Radio with former BC Liberal MLA turned radio host Kash Heed.
We would like you to be aware that Starbright has been notified by the City of Kelowna that there will be road construction along Bernard Avenue that will go right by our building. This work is scheduled to begin in May sometime and go into September. While the City workers will make every effort to do the work outside of the hours that our Centre operates, we have been let known that there could be some traffic delays. Thank you for your patience during this period of time!
At Starbright Children’s Development Centre we are thrilled to have had installed sound panels in our Multi-Purpose Room that reduce the bouncing of sound off the walls and ceiling to make it a much friendlier environment for children with cochlear implants!
Why was it needed?
Cochlear implants are medical devices that are designed to restore the sense of hearing for those with severe to profound inner ear and hearing nerve hearing loss. Children and adults who have cochlear implants are helped to hear sounds at near normal loudness. When sound escalates due to reverberating off hard surfaces, it makes distinguishing speech sounds very difficult and is frustrating for everyone but especially for wee souls just learning speech!
Our Multi-Purpose Room has a high ceiling and walls that gave lots of space for sound to bounce! These new panels bring the level of sound down so significantly! Now the children and adults who make up our “Looking Who’s Listening” groups have an environment adapted for them!
A Very Special Donor!
Our eternal gratitude goes to Mrs. Helena Killback whose legacy funds allowed us to be able do this!
Below are two “before” and three “after” pictures! You will see the panels and how they blend beautifully with the room. Points West AV Design did such a wonderful job!
First, a Starbright goodbye!
Today we say goodbye to Connie Mussell, our Data Management Coordinator for Starbright! Connie is moving to Regina, Saskatchewan (yes, in JANUARY!) to go on to new adventures! We will miss her so much! Connie has been a part of Starbright (COCDA) since 2003. She has made so many contributions to our programs! On Wednesday we had a staff farewell function for her to honor all those years of stellar service!
Next, a Starbright Welcome!
We are happy though to welcome to Starbright a new Data Management Coordinator – Mieke Krus! Mieke comes to us with three undergraduate degrees (one of which is a Bachelor of Middle Management for Non-Profit Organizations!) and one post-graduate degree in process-oriented leadership and organization development. We are thrilled to have her! Connie will assist her in the transition period via telephone but we know Mieke will be up and running with this new role very quickly!
We were so very fortunate to have Minister Steve Thompson spend some time at Starbright recently! He had an opportunity to tour our facility and meet and talk with staff! We so appreciate him taking the time and look forward to him coming again! With Minister Thompson are (from left to right) Terri Russell, Team Leader of the Supported Child Development Program, Sherri Macdonald, Operations Manager, and Rhonda Nelson, Executive Director.
We love this video of Dr. Alison Gopnik talking about the surprising minds of babies! You might begin to look at your own wee babe differently after you see this!
November 1 was Okanagan College’s Career Fair and two of our staff represented our agency – Jackie Shiosaki from Supported Child Development and Karin Heskith from Infant Development! It was a wonderful opportunity to provide information to students about career possibilities and make new connections! Our thanks to Okanagan College for inviting us!