A group aimed at connecting families and children with resources is going to be closing its operations. Patricia Tribe, regional co-ordinator of Success By Six says the provincial government has changed how they are funding childhood development programs.
“The provincial model is going to be government-led, not community led,” said Tribe. “What is going to happen is they are going to take a lot of the funding, hire 13 people, place them around the province so there will be one person.”
One of those people will be located in Kelowna, according to Tribe, and supporting early years initiatives will only be part of their job.
“The reality is that person is going to dole out contracts and be nothing of a support to your communities,” Tribe told Penticton city council last week.
Success By Six brings service providers and other partners to work together to create child and family friendly communities creating a collaborative approach that Tribe said will be lost under the new system.
“It’s a coalition of a lot of individuals in a lot of communities, Penticton being one of them,” said Tribe. “The entire budget for the year is usually about $193,000,” Tribe said. “Not a lot, but a lot is accomplished with a little bit of money.”
Some of the services Success By Six provides directly include an early years evaluation, an annual parenting conference and a resource directory through their website.
“The idea being to start kids off well, leading to a successful life,” said Tribe. “There are a lot of phenomenal service providers … but it is hard for parents to know where to go. Our website is known for being a website that people can access for finding that out. That too is now going to be gone.”
What’s also being lost, Tribe said, is keeping organizations working together collaboratively.
“There is going to be at least a 57 per cent loss of funding into the communities,” said Tribe, adding that the remaining funding is going to be distributed through a request for proposals process.
“All of our serivce providers that have been working tirelessly together to address those things are all of a sudden going to have to compete for the funding,” said Tribe. “They are starting to break back into the silos, which we know does not work as well.
“There is going to be that gap and we know that is going to cause problems for little people, now and in the future.”
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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