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Early Learning Program Opens For Children Who Are Deaf And Hard Of Hearing

Released on November 23, 2018

Deputy Premier and Education Minister Gordon Wyant was in Saskatoon today to celebrate the grand opening of the Government of Saskatchewan’s new early learning pilot program for preschool-aged children who are Deaf and hard of hearing, or connected to the Deaf and hard of hearing community.

With funding through the Canada-Saskatchewan Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, the new program can accommodate up to 16 children in both Regina and Saskatoon.

“We are very pleased to see more of our province’s youngest students accessing the additional resources they need to be successful,” Wyant said.  “We are committed to supporting the early years and making a positive impact in the lives of Saskatchewan children and their families.”

The early learning program, called Children Communicating, Connecting and in Community, provides access to early educational intervention to support the development of communication skills for children who are Deaf and hard of hearing.  Both oral and signed instruction options will be available to support the communication choice of families.

The program is also available to children who have a connection to the Deaf and hard of hearing community.  This could include children who have a parent, sibling or other family member who is Deaf or hard of hearing, or friends the child would regularly interact with in their community.

“We know how important it is for children to have a good start in life so that they can succeed,” said Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.  “Today’s announcement supports more inclusive early learning and child care that will allow more children in Saskatchewan to reach their full potential.”

In Regina, the program is being operated by Regina Public Schools and is located at Henry Janzen School.  In Saskatoon, the program is being operated by Saskatchewan Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services and is located at St Thérèse of Lisieux School.

“Access to rich natural language gives Deaf and Hard of Hearing children like my son the ability to learn and become accomplished members of society,” SonJa Van Ee, parent of a child in the program said.  “This bilingual preschool that uses American Sign Language and English, as well as embracing the use of hearing technology, opens opportunities for children to aspire to become doctors and engineers like Deaf and Hard of Hearing people throughout Canada and the world.”

To apply in Regina, visit http://www.rbe.sk.ca/early-learning

To apply in Saskatoon, visit http://sdhhs.com/preschool/.

To find out more about early learning programming being provided through the Canada-Saskatchewan Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, visit https://www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/family-and-social-support/child-care/federal-funding-for-early-learning-and-child-care.

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For more information, contact:

Chris Hodges
Education
Regina
Phone: 306-787-1069
Email: chris.hodges@gov.sk.ca
Cell: 306-533-7506

Nairn Gillies
Saskatchewan Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
Saskatoon
Phone: 306-229-2010
Email: nairn@sdhhs.com

Terry Lazarou
Regina Public Schools
Regina
Phone: 306-523-3133
Email: terry.lazarou@rbe.sk.ca

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