Perhaps, like many grandparents, you spend regular time with your grandchildren.
The Coast has a wealth of free, drop-in programs for caregivers with pre-schoolers looking for community activities for socialization and physical engagement outside the home.
At the library a toddler uses the computer to sign out books and DVDs. It’s a great spot to read together, join an activity or try on tickle trunk items. In Gibsons you could even lunch on the deck overlooking the harbour.
At Gibsons Parent-Tot Drop-In you’ll find a welcoming environment, indoor and outside activities and opportunities to talk with professional, friendly staff about child development or parenting concerns.
Bellies and Babies, aimed at moms pre- and post-birth, is just as welcoming of other significant adults. Staff provide activities for older siblings, and moms can see different parenting styles and join child-focused conversation.
School District No. 46 has Strong Start, a provincial initiative.
Many children love Tiny Town in Sechelt (located at the site of the former Sechelt Elementary School), a whole room made into a play town complete with child-sized stores, a restaurant and even a ferry. There are activity stations and group activities with the early childhood educator. After a healthy snack, children enjoy gross motor activities in the gym or outside. The Wonder Wheels Bus brings Strong Start in mobile form to Davis Bay and other communities.
Best of all, there is a key to child-related services on the Sunshine Coast. Across from the Sechelt Fire Hall and in Gibsons at St. Hilda’s Church is the Sunshine Coast Child Care Resource and Referral program (CCRR) — a wealth of free information about child care, after school care and child-related programs. The CCRR also lends toys, games, books and equipment.
It does take a village to raise a child; there are fabulous Coast programs where you and your grandchild can meet the villagers.
Editor’s note: The Child Care Action Team is working together with the Community Resource Centre’s Progress Plan. For more information, contact facilitator Hilary Griffiths at 604-740-2222.