While working as a kindergarten teacher in the mid-1970s at an inner city Regina school, Anne Luke became increasingly concerned by the challenges facing children from low-income families. In early 1977, she conducted a door-to-door survey in the city’s North Central neighbourhood to see if there was interest in developing a unique preschool program.
What she learned confirmed her belief that parents knew that having an education was important in breaking the cycle of poverty, and children needed extra help if they were going to succeed. Parents were very interested in working with Anne to develop a preschool. Anne and the parents found a small building in the inner city and, with volunteer help, the Early Learning Centre opened its doors to ten children in October, 1977.
History, Vision, Hopes and Dreams
The Story of the ELC
Anne Luke, founder and past director of the Regina Early Learning Centre (ELC), discusses the history, vision, and collaboration behind the preschool’s establishment. For over four decades, the ELC has provided a unique, exceptional and nurturing early learning environment, honouring the creativity, curiosity, cultures, and families of children in Regina’s inner-city communities.
The Centre has grown over time. As well as the Preschool Program, the Centre now offers a range of home-based programs, including the Parents as Teachers and KidsFirst programs, and now incorporates the Early Years Family Resource Centre and the Regina Perinatal Health Network. Almost 45 years later, through this growth, the Centre has remained true to its original vision of working in partnership with parents to support the healthy development of young children.