Vegreville and District

Vegreville and District Child Development Coalition

EDI results in Vegreville were released during a fun family-oriented Beach Party.
​​​​The Vegreville and District Child Development Coalition felt that more could be done to make families aware of the wide variety of resources in the community. As well as creating a monthly calendar of events, the coalition set up a family mentoring project. The project, which was launched in January 2014, pairs active, well-connected families with less engaged families, or families new to the community in a buddy system. Paired families are encouraged to attend community events and access resources (such as library and Parent Link programs) together. Or to spend time together with their children, going to the park, for example. The goal is to make it less intimidating for families to become involved with the community and to overcome the isolation that many experience.

The community at a glance

Vegreville, a town of just under 7,500 people in Central Alberta, serves as an economic hub for the area. Agriculture remains the most important industry. The Vegreville and District ECD community also includes the village of Minburn and the hamlets of Lavoy and Ranfurly.  The socio-economic status of the area falls into the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum.

EDI baseline results

Sixty per cent of young children in Vegreville and District are developing appropriately in all five areas of development, well above the provincial rate of 46 per cent.


  • Word travels quickly about new initiatives in this small community. Many of the coalition members sit on other committees, making the spread of information easier.
  • The community has a strong network of child development services and programs.
  • Representatives of these services are active on the coalition.
  • The low cost of living and number of amenities attract newcomers.
  • Recreation, music and art opportunities are available for children through church programs, volunteer-run sports leagues and town facilities.
  • The public and Catholic school districts strongly support collection of EDI data and the coalition.
  • A local MODEL project (Mentors Opening Doors, Enriching Lives) is helping to address mental health needs in the community.


  • Engaging parents and caregivers in the coalition and the project can be difficult.
  • Reaching out to the growing number of newcomers and helping them to become aware of available resources is an issue.
  • Public transportation is not meeting the needs of the growing town.
  • More rental units and low-income housing are needed.

Coalition Actions

  • The coalition organized a family beach party to share interim EDI results and raise awareness about the coalition’s work. The event was hugely successful, attracting 250 community members. Different play stations focused on the five areas of development measured by the EDI. Families were able to learn about the different areas of  development in a fun and interactive way. Parents also filled out a survey about community assets that asked where they like to play with their children, what resources they use, and what services and resources they feel are missing and would like to see in the community. Thesurvey has helped the community to study the relationship between ECD results and the impact of the community upon development, look at strengths and gaps in community supports for families and plan local responses.   
  • The coalition hosted a “Together we Raise Tomorrow” discussion in the fall of 2013. Twenty-five community members participated, including doctors, government employees, politicians and parents. This provided a broad perspective of needs and concerns related to early development. The coalition organized a pajama party for children, providing child care for parents.
  • The coalition’s Facebook page is updated every day and linked to other service providers, such as the Parent Link Centre and the library, in order to reach as many people as possible.
  • The coalition newsletter was launched in October 2013, with 2,500 copies distributed throughout the community.
  • A family mentoring program was started in January 2014 to build relationships among families and encourage them to become more active in the community.
  • Presentations were made to service clubs, including the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, and the Kinette Club.
  • A one-page flyer was created and distributed in the community to explain the ECMap project in plain language and invite people to get involved in the coalition.
  • Banners explaining the five areas of development and activities to support development in each area were produced and have been displayed throughout the community.
  • A partnership program with the local high school is being considered to get youth involved with the coalition.
"The positive side (of being a small community) is that information can get out really quickly to
90 per cent of the population, but the challenge is the 10 per cent that is missing."
Stacey Helfrich, coalition member

​Additional information

Check out the coalition's Facebook page at

Updated: April 28, 2014