Lloydminster and Area (ECD) Community Coalition

Lloydminster and Area Early Years Coalition

'Bus' benches display early development messages.
​​​​Lloydminster may not have a public transportation system, but it does have ‘bus’ benches along its main streets to provide resting spots for pedestrians. The Lloydminster and Area Early Years Coalition saw the benches, which have advertising space available, as the perfect place to communicate key messages about early child development to the community. Since October 2013, the coalition has been displaying its messages on the benches, changing them every ten weeks.  The key messages are also repeated in the coalition’s local newspaper columns and on its event banners, and have been adopted by other organizations for their programs such as pre-natal classes.  The coalition hopes that with enough exposure to the same messages, community members will become more aware of the importance of early childhood development. 

Community at a glance

Lloydminster is the only city in Canada to straddle the border of two provinces: Alberta and Saskatchewan. This has presented challenges, but it has also fostered a history of collaboration. Lloydminster residents are used to collaborating on social programs, health care and education as they deal with two provincial governments with different programs and priorities.
Oil and gas is the biggest industry in the area. An extremely low vacancy rate means many families live in outlying communities and commute to work in the city. The city also has many newcomers, including foreign workers, who lack the support of extended family and other social networks.  

EDI baseline results

The percentage of young children experiencing great difficulty in one or more areas of development in the City of Lloydminster's three subcommunities is 33, 21 and 29. In the subcommunity in the surrounding area, outside the city, the rate is 10 per cent. 


  • Service providers are used to working collaboratively in order to meet resident needs and government requirements in a community that straddles two provinces.
  • Service providers and community members have worked together in the past on issues related to young children. National Child Day has been celebrated in the community since 2003, for example.
  • The coalition meets every month and has a core membership of more than 30 people with a broad range of skills and perspectives. Members represent school districts, public health, Parent Link, parents, home visitation and early intervention programs, play schools and daycares, Alberta Child and Family Services, the library, parks and recreation, Lakeland College, immigrant settlement services, community and cultural services and the Chamber of Commerce.


  • Meetings are held during the day which means that many parents and caregivers are not able to attend.
  • Keeping focused when there are always new ideas being generated.

Coalition actions

National Child Day activities attracted more than 350 community members on November 23, 2013.
​When preliminary EDI results (spring 2012) were released, four facilitated meetings were organized to discuss the meaning of the results to the community, local resources available to young children and families, and the relationship between early development and socio-economic status. 

National Child Day activities (November 23, 2013) attracted more than 350 people. The coalition rented the two local field houses, created play-based, interactive activities linked to areas on the EDI, gave out resource materials and booked a local DJ for a dance party.  Parents were surveyed about existing local resources that they found useful for their young children and what supports they felt were lacking

The coalition partnered with a family service provider to host two presentations on brain development featuring Dr.  Jean Clinton, an expert in the field and a professor at McMaster University. More than 380 people attended the two events (Nov. 2012 and May 2013), which were free and open to both parents and agencies.

Key messages on early development were created and are displayed in prominent community locations.  Banners with key messages will be permanently installed in the waiting room of the public health unit, which is shared with the local Parent Link Centre and Child and Family Services. 

The city of Lloydminster was given information about and urged to apply for funding to upgrade local parks to make them more toddler friendly.

Community members who are not able to attend coalition meetings are encouraged to volunteer at events.  Coalition events are held evenings and weekends to make them as accessible as possible to families.

"We would just be on the cusp of finalizing something and another idea would come up. Engaging the creativity and energy of the group while ensuring there is a focus and completion (of tasks) is a challenge."
Sherri Husch Foote, coalition chair
Updated: April 28, 2014