If you're feeling the need to connect with other parents in person, or you need a little extra support or advice, resource centres are a valuable option in our community. The Greater Halifax region is lucky to have at least thirteen fantastic organizations that provide low cost, and often free, programming, and many have a focus on families with young children. Most have calendars JAM PACKED with programs that sound like loads of fun!
Some organizations are community specific (such as needing to live in a certain neighbourhood or have an affiliation, like military) but many are open to everyone. I've included as many as I can find in this list so you can check their requirements to see if you meet them. The quotes below are from their website to give you a quick idea about the community and the type of programs they offer. Click on the link in their names to go to their website to learn more about the organization and their offerings.
"Parents and Children Together actively contribute to the well-being of families through programs, workshops and activities offered to parents, expectant parents, caregivers and their children. Programs are open to all parents/caregivers with infants, toddlers and children of all ages." It is located in Cole Harbour (Dartmouth).
"Dartmouth Family Centre promotes the healthy development of families and communities by providing resources and activities that support the parent-child relationship; bringing people together to grow, cook, share and advocate for good food and a healthy and fair food system; providing opportunities to develop supportive relationships with other families and community members; advocating for changes to the societal conditions that impede the well-being of families and communities." It is located on Albro Lake Road, Dartmouth.
"The Resource Centre offers a safe place to meet community members, a supportive environment for personal growth and development, and many programs and activities that are planned and organized together by the community and staff. Our programs empower families to meet their life goals and overcome the challenges of living with poverty. The mission of the Parent Resource Centre is primarily to offer support programs and resources that meet the identified needs of single parents living in the North End Community of Halifax." It is located on Uniacke Street, Halifax.
"We are a secure, supportive, learning place involving all community members which provides opportunities to share and to build confidence and trust while working together to create a stronger, healthy community." Programs include community gardens, parenting support, skill training and preschool programs." This centre is located on McAlpine Avenue in Halifax.
"The Halifax & Region MFRC is a not-for profit, charitable organization, governed by a volunteer Board of Directors made up of a minimum of 51 percent military family member. The mission of the Halifax & Region MFRC is to strengthen the well-being of all those who share the unique experience of military life." It is located on Homefire Crescent in Halifax.
"Our Mission: To improve the lives of aboriginal peoples living in an urban environment through social and cultural programming. Our Vision: The Society strives to provide all services and programs in a context that acknowledges the rich artistic and spiritual traditions of our people, so as to facilitate cultural knowledge transfer in an urban aboriginal environment. The Society has an open door policy with all of our programs making our services available to all people." The centre is located on Gottigen Street in Halifax.
"Since 1986 the centre has grown to offer a variety of programs and services for all ages responding to the unique needs of the community. All programs and services are FREE of charge to support the healthy growth and development of all community members. Our goal is to provide EDUCATION, OPPORTUNITIES AND SUPPORT to the community. We offer community based participant lead programs in a safe and welcoming environment. We know transportation, language and childcare can be a challenge to access services. That is why we offer on-site childcare, help with transportation and work with translators if needed." It is located on Titus Street, Fairview, Halifax.
"Chebucto Family Centre provides free services and supports to families and community members. These include but are not limited to: advocacy and support, health and wellness programs, prenatal and parenting classes, our Volunteer Doula Program, youth programming and operating as a Family Home Day Care Agency." It is located on Sylvia Avenue, Spryfield, Halifax.
"The caring and learning Centre is a family resource center nestled in the community of Mulgrave park and provides services for residents and surrounding area. We offer parent programs, after-school programs for children ages 5-11. We have a variety of collaborations which help us to make a wide variety of services and workshops available to many." It is located on Jarvis Lane in Halifax.
The centre works from a capacity building perspective, where children and families are embraced in a supportive environment. Projects offered from the MLFP include the Family Home Day Care Program – the Family Support Project – the provincially-licensed Memory Lane Family Place Preschool – and the Community Action Program for Children. All programs are free of charge, with the exception of the subsidized Family Home Day Care and the subsidized Preschool Programs." It is located on Memory Lane in Lower Sackville.
"The Eastern Shore Family Resource Association offers a variety of programs, services & one on one support to meet the needs of families along the Eastern Shore. Historically our programs focused on early childhood development through parent/caregiver and child interactive playgroups, family literacy, school readiness opportunities & parent education workshops. Recently, we have expanded our range of programs & services to include pre-natal families and families with children up to age 16 years." It is located in Porters Lake Shopping Centre in Porters Lake.
"The Musquodoboit Valley Family Resource Centre is a non-profit organization that provides programs and services to the community to enhance and support families in health and life long learning. Programs that the Musquodoboit Valley Family Resource Centre offers include childrens programs (0-5), programs for youth and seniors and programs for all ages." It is located on Highway 224 in Middle Musquodoboit.
"Our commitment is to a holistic, family-centered approach. We assist our clients in bringing about positive change in their lives in order to benefit their families. This is achieved through initiatives such as Reunification and Aftercare, Teens Talk, Family Intervention and our Positive Parenting groups. We recognize that children are resilient and can become happy, confident individuals who are involved in, and contributing positively to their community." Their offices are located on Gottigen Street in Halifax.
*Note: I found a listing for a family resource centre in East Preston however none of the links worked. If anyone can confirm that this centre is actually still operating I would love to to add it to the list!
Have you visited any of these centres? Have I missed any? If you have visited, tell me about your favourite program so others can enjoy it too!