In 1986, the Caledon Information Centre obtained funding from the Ministry of Community and Social Services to assess the need for a family resource centre for children, parents, and caregivers. The Ministry focused attention on Caledon as a result of an inquest, which had been held because of a fire that took the life of a caregiver and the children in her care. They were concerned that there were insufficient support services for those caring for young children. A needs assessment was done and a steering committee formed.
The committee formulated the initial mission statement, philosophy, and goals for the Centre. In 1987-88, after a year of planning, the Caledon Parent-Child Centre was opened for 17 hours per week as a toy lending library and drop-in centre, and began visiting eight rural communities. In 1989, due to the overwhelming response of children, parents, and caregivers, the main Centre moved to a larger location and began operating for 35 hours per week. On June 23, 1989, the Caledon Parent-Child Centre was incorporated and became an independent charitable organization.
From our earliest days as a Family Resource Centre (affectionately referred to as the “toy lending library”), our devotion to early child development has been a keystone to who we are and what we do. As the community grew, so did we. We learned from our community and responded to their needs by creating a hybrid service model that fused the guiding principles of family support with early learning and child development.
Since our inception, we have consistently delivered free, high quality and inclusive early years programs and services for parents, caregivers and children 0-6 years. In 2003, we became an Ontario Early Years Centre (rebranded in 2019 to become EarlyON Child and Family Centres) and more than tripled our programs. Substantial facility and staffing expansion took place to accommodate the growing number of families and children who accessed our programs and services each day.
Our service model offers a successful blend of all ages and developmentally specific programs including those with complex needs or barriers. Families can choose from a suite of 20+ unique, adult/child early learning programs that best meet their needs and preferences.