Opening of the Humboldt Family Resource Center for Early Years

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The grand opening on March 3 heralds the actual opening later this month, offering families with young children up to age five a range of drop-in and scheduled programs following the announcement of provincial funding from $215,000 for plant start-up in April 2021

HUMBOLDT — Member of Parliament for Humboldt-Watrous and Deputy Premier Donna Harpauer cut the ribbon as they welcomed community members to Humboldt’s first Early Years Family Resource Center for area families.

The grand opening on March 3 heralds the actual opening later this month, offering families with young children up to age five a range of drop-in and scheduled programs following the announcement of provincial funding from $215,000 for the start of the installation in April 2021.

Programming will include activities for babies and toddlers, access to information, professionals as well as support groups where parents can share their experiences with others and seek advice.

Kevin Garinger, director of education for Horizon, said they cannot underestimate the impact the new facility will have on Humboldt and its region.

Horizon School Division serves as the operating partner, while Partners Family Services serves as the staffing partner. A community board serves as an advisory committee.

“We know that early childhood development lays the foundation for lifelong learning, it lays the foundation for behavior and health,” Garinger said.

“We know that play is how children learn to master their environment, how they try things out and satisfy their curiosity. This natural urge to play reflects another equally important life skill: resilience.

He said the center came about after conducting a Horizon-wide assessment of children from three months until they entered school, which identified that the youngsters had programming needs. for early childhood. Subsequently, the Ministry of Education contacted Horizon about the opportunity to open a center for the community.

“It was through that conversation that I brought it to our school board and said, ‘This is what we have the opportunity to do,’ and they were very excited about it.”

Harpauer said having support during the early years is critical to who someone becomes as an adult.

“There are times when children can have developmental issues, parents are frustrated and don’t know where to start – that’s it. This is the resource they need,” Harpauer said. “To just have that support, to have that direction where you need to go, that’s key.”

Other dignitaries in attendance included Hayley Kennedy, executive director of Partners Family Services, Elder Stuart Bitternose of the George Gordon First Nation and council. Larry Jorgenson from the town of Humboldt.

“We are very fortunate to live in one of the most prosperous areas of the province and with prosperity comes growth and with growth comes more people,” Jorgenson said. “We are going to need more and more of these supports. So it’s great to see the Horizon School Division and the other partners coming together to create this facility, and I hope there will be more to come.

The Center is located at 1605 Glenn Hall Drive. Community members looking for more information are encouraged to visit the website at heyfrc.ca, but can also call 306-682-5004.

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