From newborn care to potty training and registering for school, the Ontario Early Years Centre has the answers to all of a parent’s questions.
The OEYC drew a large crowd to the Boys and Girls Club on Saturday for an open house celebrating the centre’s 10th anniversary.
“People really are passionate about us,” OEYC manager Melodie Spencer said. “But we couldn’t do this alone and that is why we invited everybody to help us celebrate 10 years.
“Former children and families, staff volunteers, dignitaries – everybody has been a really important part of this success.”
Tara Jacobs has been using the OEYC drop-in program since she had her first child and is now bringing her third to the program every week.
“It’s important to spend time with the kids and play together,” she said. “It’s always fun to get out of the house and have something to do during the day. It also gets the kids used to other kids before we send them off to school.”
The OEYC’s drop-in program for play time is just one of a wide-array or services, programming and referrals offered by the centre.
OEYC provides services for parents of children up to six years old and for educators of children up to 12 years old.
“We are basically your one-stop shopping for any of your needs if you fit into one of those two categories,” Spencer said. “Basically, if you are wondering who to call for something related to a child, call us.”
If the OEYC cannot offer the assistance a parent or educator needs, they can make a referral.
“We’ve made 17,000 referrals in our 10 years here in Brant,” Spencer said. “If we can’t provide the service, we know who can.”
She said the purpose of the open house was not only to get together with former users of the OEYC, but to help spread the word about what they do.
“Some people still don’t know we exist,” Spencer said. “We are here and we are free. We have these services and we want the community to use them.”