By JESSE GAULT
“We’re here and are re-open,” said Jennifer Hooker, coordinator at the EarlyON Family Resource Centre (FRC) on Main Street.
At the FRC centre, a young child can socialize with their parents, family or caregiver, other kids and early childhood professionals. The result being that the kids play and learn, get ready for school, interact with others and make friends.
Hooker said the centre, at 184 Main St. just north of Gerrard Street East, had been closed for 16 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has just recently re-opened.
“We want families to recognize they know their children the best and that together we can support children and one another. It is our hope that the centre will become ‘a second home’ where people feel safe, valued, and heard,” she said.
The centre is open for drop-in hours, for any child up to six-years-old and their families or other caregivers, on Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
“Daily activities include dramatic play, block play, STEM, sensory play, fine motor activities, singing, stories, and circle time,” said Hooker.
Programs are free, and registration is not required.
One of the centre’s programs is Baby Time. It is held every Wednesday and Thursday at 1 p.m. It is meant for both parents or caregivers and their babies from birth until 18-months-old.
The program allows babies to interact with music and language through story telling, and singing songs such as finger-plays and action songs.
Another program is Dad’s Drop-In. It is held every Tuesday at 1 p.m. It gives dads the opportunity to play with their children while talking to other fathers.
The Ready-Set-Learn program works to develop children’s skills, increasing their ability to learn as preparation for daycare and school.
Montessori Time gives children the opportunity to use Montessori materials. It can be an opportunity for parents and children to become familiar with Montessori materials.
The centre also provides the ASQ, or the Ages and Stages Questionnaire. This involves Early Childhood Educators as well as Childcare Workers interacting with a caregiver/parent and child to identify suggestions to allow a child to build on emerging strengths, skills and interests.
“We want to expand our reach within the community so that families and caregivers will know about us and tell others. We also want to expand and build on partnerships with local organizations,” said Hooker said.
For more information, please visit the website is at https://daycareconnection.net/family-resource-centre/