There are many kinds of programs and services that may be available to child care providers and daycare centres to help enhance their program, answer questions, or simply provide information on a variety of topics.
Ideas For Variety
Children and caregiver's alike need to get out and socialize, meet new friends, experience new activities. The following offer some variety to regular routines.
* Play groups. These range from those run by the local church or community centre, to those as casual as Mom & Tots groups put on by neighbourhood Moms. Your local family paper, community newsletter, or city paper may have information on groups running in your area. Call for dates, times, what is offered and what is expected of you with regards to volunteering
* Drop-In Programs. These are generally less structured than play groups, and are generally run by volunteers. In some instance you are expected to remain with the children. This is a great way for children to learn to socialize with other children while playing with different toys and experiencing different activities. Check you local community centre, child care agency, or family resource centre for what's offered in your neighbourhood.
* The public library. Most libraries offer story hours, crafts, music, and other services for children. Give them a call to learn what fun is available for your group.
* Toy lending libraries. Looking for an inexpensive way to suppliment your toy supply. A local toy library is the perfect solution. There may be an annual membership fee, which in some instance may be waived if it presents a hardship. Toy libraries often run as a support program to child care agencies, community centres, family resource centre. Others are run as independent businesses.
* Recreation programs. There are may penniwise activities run through most cities. A call to your city hall information centre would give you information on city-sponsored (parks & rec. ) family events in your area. Check out your local paper or family/parenting paper for what's happening about town. In Calgary, parents can check out our Family Activity page to see what family events, sports, dance lessons, etc. are happening in our city.
* Get out and visit such places as a farmer's market, museum, the fire hall, a bakery, chocolate factory, chain restaurant, petting zoo, police station, city hall, senior citizens home, etc.
* Host an open house. Invite local dance instructors, artists, band groups, police, librarian, etc., to come and visit the children in your home or centre. You could have a show-n-tell day each month where the children can take turns bringing in the grandpa that makes really neat wooden toys, the uncle who is a scientist, the mother who is a nurse, the cousin who plays the guitar, etc. The possibilities are endless.
* Community events are a great way to take in the sights and explore new things. Strawberry festivals, carnivals, winter skating activities, all offer something usually for free. Watch your local papers for what's happening in your neck of the woods. Then gather up a picnic, pack up the kids, and enjoy.