The Moose Jaw Early Years Family Resource Centre officially opened the doors to their new facility on Tuesday.
Located at the old John Chisholm School, the family resource centre is a welcoming service for families with children prenatal to five years of age.
Opening the building has been a long time coming for them. The process began a couple of years ago, but was halted due to the pandemic.
“We were able to turn a school building into a place where it feels warm and welcoming, which is the family resource centre,” said co-ordinator Wanda Peakman.
“So, we used the pandemic to our advantage to be able to do things like laying flooring, and building and putting together furniture. We would often have furniture all spread out through the hallway putting the rooms together.”
Even before the building was open to the public, the family resource centre was still running programs and engaging with young families.
“Right when the pandemic hit, we launched our social media pages so Facebook and Instagram. Then, we worked on developing a website,” Peakman said.
“So, that was kind of one of the first ways we connected with families. We then started delivering family activity bags to families and then we offered some programs over Zoom as well. So, we tried to reach families as best as we could throughout the pandemic.”
The family resource centre currently offers drop-in and group activities that support the development of young children in the area of early learning, parent and caregiver education and family wellness and referrals.
The centre is unique in the fact that it has indoor and outdoor drop-in play areas where families can come to connect and the kids can play together.
Partnering agencies also run programming in the building. Once a week there is a moms-for-moms group and a maternal mental health group takes place once a week over Zoom.
The centre has a little library outside and a lending library inside. Moose Jaw Literacy has partnered to offer reading programs and literacy programs.
This will be the first summer that the family resource centre has been fully operational. The centre is working toward a baby sensor time for parents and children ages zero to 12 months. They are also planning a “nobody’s perfect” parenting program. This program is for parents who may be curious about their children’s behaviour or safety and connect with other parents who may be experiencing the same thing. “Nobody’s perfect” will be offered both in-person and over Zoom.
You can learn more about their programs at www.moosejawfrc.ca.