Connections Early Years Family Centre, formerly known as St. Mary’s Family Learning Centre,
began its story in 1974 with a group of committed volunteers at St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Olde Walkerville who recognized the importance of providing supportive programs for families with preschool children
in Windsor and Essex County.
The Agency moved to the present location at 795 Giles Blvd. East in 1986, incorporated as a non-profit agency and received charitable status in 1987. Managed by a community board and a small staff, the programs that were offered included parenting courses, play groups and a Toy Lending Library. In 1998 Dr. Fraser Mustard, the co-author of the provincial study of the Early Years, hosted a focus group with parents at Connections Early Years Family Centre. Afterwards he described the Agency as a “strong early childhood and parenting centre”.
Connections’ reputation for excellence, creative thinking and parent involvement grew
throughout the years, earning recognition from provincial and national organizations.
Community partnerships were viewed as crucial components of a flexible delivery service and collaborative events with community partners became a strong focus for the agency. In 2004, the Centre became the lead agency for the Talk 2 Me Program. This allowed the two programs to develop a service system that works together with families to achieve positive outcomes for their children. In 2006, the Centre became the lead agency for the Infant Hearing Program and in 2007, the lead agency for the Blind-Low Vision Early Intervention Program.
The Centre continues to strive to achieve excellence in service delivery and in 2018, the Board of Directors, staff and parents once again begin the process of developing and implementing a new strategic plan. This plan will guide the decisions and move the direction of the agency towards an exciting future for the families in this community.