Ontario Early Years Centre Simcoe North > About > History

HISTORY

Ontario Early Years Centres offer families/care providers who care for children 0-6 years of age, a range of core services which can assist them in their parenting role as well as provide a safe environment where preschool children can be exposed to a variety of learning activities and practise newfound skills.

The centres were established in 2002 to serve as a gateway for parents and caregivers to get answers to questions they may have as well as information on available programs and services for all children from birth to 6 years of age. All programs are free of charge and are funded by the Ministry of Education to allow for universal access. 

Ontario Early Years Centres were supported by the Ministry of Child and Youth Services until April 2014, when responsibility transferred to the Ministry of Education. 

Ontario Early Years Centres are places where parents and caregivers can:

  • take part with their children in a range of programs and activities
  • get answers to questions
  • get information about programs and services that are available for young children and their families
  • talk to early years professionals, as well as other parents and caregivers in the community

The Ontario Early Years Centre – Simcoe North is the lead agency for the Ontario Early Years Centres of Simcoe North. The lead site is in Midland with a satellite site in Orillia.

Outreach programs are offered in a number of locations in small communities throughout Simcoe North.

Both centres provide early learning activities for children, parent education, literacy based activities, referrals to community resources, nutrition information, pre and post natal resources and outreach services to smaller communities in Simcoe North, within a warm and welcoming environment.

The Ontario Early Years Centre – Simcoe North is responsible for providing early years Francophone Services throughout Simcoe County on behalf of the three Early Years Centre lead agencies (OEYC Simcoe North, OEYC Simcoe Grey, OEYC Barrie Simcoe Bradford).

 

 

Our Roots

What is now known as the Ontario Early Years Centre – Simcoe North started as a community playgroup in Midland run co-operatively by local volunteers in the 1980’s.  It then became the North Simcoe Family Resource Program in 1990 with paid staff and local volunteers, established in the present location at 356 King St. in Midland, Ontario.

An application to become the lead agency for the Simcoe North Ontario Early Years Centre location was granted by the Ontario Ministry of Community, Family and Children’s Services in 2002.

Ontario Early Years Centres were supported by the Ministry of Child and Youth Services until April 2014, when responsibility transferred to the Ministry of Education.

The agency’s staff and board were recognized as having:

  • strong and competent leadership
  • a strong track record in planning, delivering and integrating early years services
  • the support and confidence of community partners
  • a demonstrated ability to manage funds

This strong foundation provided a wonderful opportunity for growth as an agency. We would like to thank all our staff members, board members and volunteers, both past and present for their dedication and commitment to the supports and services we provide to families and children in Simcoe North.

We would like to thank the families and children who visit with us, both past and present. We are honoured that you share your trust and friendship with us. Thank you for sharing your families with us!

Thank you to the Orillia and Area Family Resource Centre

We would like to express our appreciation to past staff members, board members and volunteers of the Orillia and Area Family Resource Centre.

As the lead agency for the Ontario Early Years Centre in Simcoe North, our mandate included  establishing a satellite centre in the Orillia area. In Orillia, we were able to build on the strong foundation provided by the Orillia and Area Family Resource Centre.

What was known as the Orillia and Area Family Resource Centre started as the Orillia Toy Library opening on February 9th, 1979 by four women wanting to mark the International Year of the Child. In the beginning the toy library on Peter St. was operated solely by volunteers and fundraising.

In 1984 the Toy Library received its first grant from the Ministry of Community and Social Services.

Then in June of 1987 through funding from the Ministry and fundraising they were able to hire their first staff member.

In 1995 the centre continued to grow and soon outgrew its space and moved to 180 Front St.  It now employed two staff members part time.

Again in 1996 the toy library soon outgrew its space and moved into a building on the corner of Mississauga St and Albert and officially became the Orillia and Area Family Resource Centre.

After a short stay and with the help of funding from the Ministry, the Orillia and Area Family Resource Centre in 1999 moved to its final home at 80 Colborne St. W.

In 2002, the Orillia and Area Family Resource closed as an entity, generously donating the majority of its inventory of toys to the Ontario Early Years Centre – Simcoe North.