Phil Bouvier Family Centre

Inner city activists have known for a long time that many children in their neighbourhoods struggle with school.

In 2002, a group of researchers led by Clyde Hertzman released a report on the Community Asset Mapping Project, comparing the early child development of children in different parts of Vancouver. The report confirmed that “the determinants of success in early child development are to be found in the environments where children grow up, live, and learn.” The researchers found, not surprisingly, that children in inner city neighbourhoods were less likely to have successful physical, emotional, cognitive and social development.

In 2004, a childcare centre came up for sale in Strathcona, the neighbourhood where children have been shown to be most at risk. A coalition of childcare providers came to Central City Foundation with a proposal that CCF purchase the building and create an Indigenous Early Years childcare space that would be a service hub to provide wraparound support for inner city children and their families.

The centre is managed by Vancouver Native Health Society and was named after the late Phil Bouvier in honour of his passionate commitment to the project. The Phil Bouvier Family Centre acts as a hub for services that address the needs of Indigenous children and their families and includes services such as Indigenous Early Years childcare, parenting programs, early literacy, hearing and vision testing and visits from pediatric nurses.
This project was made possible thanks to the many generous donors to Central City Foundation and our funding partners, the Ministry of Children and Family Development, the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Agreement, Vancouver Foundation, Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund, Vancity, Victoria Foundation, The Christopher Foundation and CIBC.

“Traditional Native child care approaches are in harmony with emerging and developmental research which shows that self-esteem is dependent upon fostering in children the spirit of belonging, mastery, autonomy and generosity.”

– Vancouver Native Health Society