LION (Learning In Our Neighbourhood) is a mobile early learning centre program created in response to census data which showed that a quarter of Peel Region’s children are not school-ready as they enter grade one. The mobility of the LION is designed to bring early learning resources to the neighbourhoods that need it most.
The LION initiative is coordinated by the Region of Peel, and has numerous key partners including: Success By 6 Peel, the Brampton Library; Child Development Resource Connection Peel, Malton Neighbourhood Services, Mississauga Parent Child Resource Centres, Peel District School Board, and the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board.
Three fully-equipped LION vehicles provide services to more than 14 schools in Mississauga and Brampton, thanks to the support of a $1.5 million grant from the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, and support from the Region of Peel.
The vehicles travel to designated communities where early learning programs for children and families are unavailable, and park adjacent to a school or other convenient community service location. Families come on the LION to attend parent/child interactive play-based programs with a language, literacy and numeracy focus. Parents and caregivers talk to early childhood professionals about parenting and early child development, as well as access information on services to support individual and family needs. Newcomers to Canada can learn about services throughout Peel including, settlement, employment and language support programs.