The founding members of the Child Care Society for the East Kootenay - from Cranbrook, Kimberley and Invermere - began meeting as a group in 1971. After identifying some service needs of children in this area, work began on establishing a group home for young children in Cranbrook, and, concurrently, the drafting of the Constitution and By-Laws of the Society. The Society subsequently became incorporated under the Societies Act in the spring of 1973.
In the ensuing early years, the Society operated four group homes for children of various age groups in Cranbrook, Kimberley and Creston. Under contract with the Corrections branch, the Society ran a weekend attendance program for young offenders from 1979 to 1981 and a community service program for juveniles in East Kootenay Provincial Parks during the summers of 1982 and 1983. The Society has provided student support staff in the Cranbrook Alternate School for ten years and has operated the Child Care Workers programs in Cranbrook and Kimberley for many years. In 1983, the Society established the Cranbrook Children's Place Daycare Centre, and in 1984 assumed operation of the Happy Hands Nursery School Program in Kimberley, as well as, the Alternate Day Care in 1993.
In 1993 the Society created the Cranbrook Family Centre and the Kimberley Family Centre and leased space for these operations in both communities. These facilities provided a base for the Society's activities and allowed the sharing of staff resources between the two centres.
The Society has operated a number of Early Childhood Education and Day Care Programs in both Kimberley and Cranbrook. The Society currently operates two day cares in Cranbrook and one in Kimberley as follows:
New Horizons Day Care - Cranbrook
Kootenay Orchards After School Program - Cranbrook
First Steps Day Care - Kimberley
In October of 2000 we were able to realize the purchase of the Cranbrook Family Centre building located at 125 10th Avenue South in Cranbrook. This purchase enabled the Society to enhance its program delivery and to meet the needs of our region. The Society currently serves slightly more than 800 individuals in the course of a year, a full 49% of them under the age of 18 years. This figure excludes the children currently enrolled in day care services.
In April of 2002, the Society underwent a name change to reflect the changing status of service delivery to our region. Summit Community Services Society is our new name and we hope it embodies our goals to assist our clients.
The Society has been actively engaged in an accreditation process under the Council On Accreditation based in New York and gained a four year accreditation in early 2003.
The Board of Directors of the Society has indicated a renewed direction which includes consolidation and integration of its program activities primarily directed at providing a highly professional service to children and families and have acquired qualified personnel to assure this occurs in both the Cranbrook and Kimberley Family Centres and communities.
During the period 1993-2003 the Society's programs have expanded through contracts for funding with the Provincial Ministries of Children and Family Development, Public Safety and Solicitor General and Community Aboriginal and Women's Services. The Columbia Basin Trust is also an important source of funding. They engage in funding many programs enhancing life for all of the Region's inhabitants. Presently, this allows an integrated program delivery system which includes the programs listed on our site.