At right

At right

Family services aims to broaden outreach

Langley Early Child Development and Middle Childhood Matters committees used the opportunity to publicize its new Langley Children website

The Langley Walk is a family affair, and this year’s was no exception.

There were several different aspects as organizers wanted to make it extra special to mark the popular event’s 50th anniversary.

The Langley Early Child Development and Middle Childhood Matters committees used the opportunity to publicize its new Langley Children website (www.langleychildren.com) that is a source of information for families about community resources, services/programs and fun events.

“We recently surveyed over 500 Langley families and found that almost 70 per cent wanted more information about what is available in Langley,” said Karen Custodio, who chairs the Early Child Development Committee, and is the program manager of Children and Family Services at Aldergrove Neighbourhood Services.

“Many of the parents were not aware of important resources to their families such as Family Place Drop-ins, or literacy programs that support parents in their child rearing,” Custodio added.

The hope is that the Langley Children website will become the go-to source for information for parents, and that Child Day at Langley Walk will provide the opportunity for families to connect with services and have fun together. Child Day will include Mother Goose rhyming sessions, Library story times and a Bouncy Castle, and the chance for parents to assess their child’s development and talk with experts about their concerns.

On May 7, in a presentation to Township council, Custodio explained that the ECD committee sees Langley “as a healthy community where all children are supported to achieve their potential.”

Among its initiatives is the Early Years Refugee Project which supports immigrant families settle and integrate into the community. Help ranges from accessing medical assistance to nutritional and life-skills classes.

Custodio told council that generally, a care gap analysis found that childcare for newborns to six-year-olds is a challenge.

Based on 2006 census data, the Township needs almost 900 spaces, with the greatest need in Aldergrove, Brookswood/Fernridge and Walnut  Grove, she said.

A survey of parents found that well over 90 per cent used Langley parks for themselves and their children, and found key information in the Langley Leisure Guide and Rec Express .

However, “many families had no connections, wanted more information about services and many existing services were not well known,” Custodio told council.

Among the strategies to address this is to consider EDI information for each Langley neighbourhood.

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