The Family Resource Centre operated by Houston’s Link to Learning, has reopened its doors to families, after staying closed for drop-ins, for a long time due to Covid.
The Family Resource Centre, housed in Houston Link to Learning, is a space for families and children below six years of age. The centre runs through a contract they have with Bulkley Valley Child Development Centre (BVCDC). Starting Oct. 6, the Family Resource Centre opened its doors for parent and child drop ins every Tuesday and Friday between 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
“Obviously with Covid, we had to shut down the drop in bit but we are just now starting to open it back up a bit. Because of the rules and limited numbers, it is now registration only,” said Marian Ells, the manager for Houston Link to Learning.
Before the pandemic, families would drop in to the centre twice a week but like so many other businesses and organizations, the centre had to change things up to continue providing the service safely.
“People can call us to register. We have a waiting list now since the first day or two is already full. So they can call us or message us through our Facebook and we will sign them up,” said Ells, adding that currently the centre can accept only four adults and their children between the ages of 0-6 years, due to the social distancing restrictions.
The centre provides families with a space to unwind, and enjoy as well as offers a toy lending library.
“Families can call us anytime or message us anytime for the toy lending library,” said Ells, adding that the toy lending library, as well as the Family Resource Centre, were both free of charge.
According to Ells, the Houston Family Resource Centre is based on providing universally accessible services for children 0 to 6 and their families. The program aims to assist with family navigation or other applicable early years services and community programs.
“We are following all the provincial and health safety rules. We are following all the current regulations. So families can come anytime and stay for as long as as they want in the time that they are signed up for,” said Ells.
The Houston Family Resource Centre opened in April 2019 through the BVCDC sub contract and the funding for the program comes from the Ministry of Children and Family Development, Early Years Programs and Services.
“The intention behind that was to support families and children. People do seem to need to get out and we are hoping to provide a safer space to get out,” said Ells.