A new play space for children 0-5 opened its doors in Banff this month.
The Family Connections Play Space opened upstairs at 101 Bear Street, offering story-times for children with the Banff Public Library and Running Rascals, an active play program that aims to develop a child’s gross motor skills.
This program is part of the newly established Bow Valley Family Resource Network, which provides a range of services and supports to families with children 0-18. Funded by the Government of Alberta over the next three years, the Bow Valley Family Resource Network will help connect parents to services and supports while working to improve child and youth development.
“Now more than ever, we need to make sure that children, youth and their families have supports that promote child development and well-being for the whole family. The new Family Resource Network will provide programs and services that will enable families to become stronger and more resilient during these tough times,” said Jessica LaBonte, the Town of Banff’s Family Connections Coordinator.
The Family Connections Play Space is open to all Bow Valley families. Due to COVID-19, parents must register for the program by calling 403.762.1251. Strict safety protocols will be in place for all participants.
These networks help fill the gap left behind by Bow Valley Parent Link. Parents will recognize some programs, but will also see new additions in the community as more services roll out. Due to the regional nature of the network, Banff residents are also able to attend some programs in Canmore.
The advent of Family Resource Networks comes at a time when many families may feel isolated due to COVID-19. These programs and services, like the Play Space, hope to connect parents with their community and increase social connections in a way that’s safe to do so.
“Early childhood development, parent education, and social connections will be the cornerstone of services for the Bow Valley Family Resource Network and we are very excited to provide services under the new Family Resource Network model,” said LaBonte.
Parents can register for a spot in the Family Connections Play Space either for Mondays & Thursdays, 9-11:30 a.m. October 5-December 17 or Tuesdays & Fridays, 9-11:30 a.m. October 6-Devember 18.
For more information on the Play Space and other Family Resource Network services, visit https://banff.ca/familyresourcenetwork or email firstname.lastname@example.org.