Grand opening today for Parent Link Centre
Child development programs begin this week at new Co-Op Mall office
Tuesday, Oct 13, 2015 06:00 am
Today is grand opening day for Innisfail’s new Evergreen Parent Link Centre.
The new home for the non-profit social service agency, which is run by the local office of McMan Youth, Family and Community Services Association, is located on the west side of Co-Op Mall, across from the grocery store.
The grand opening in the new 3,000 square foot office will run today (Oct. 13) from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. There will be food, tea and coffee. Staff will give tours, and talk to citizens about what the organization can offer to parents, caregivers and children from newborn to six years of age.
“We will be giving tours. People can drop in. There will be food, tea and coffee, and staff will be talking about the five pillars – early childhood development and care, family support, parent education, information and referral, ages and stages developmental screening,” said Tracy Davis-McMillan, program coordinator for the new social service agency, which will also offer its programs to citizens in Red Deer County, including the communities of Bowden, Elnora, Delburne, Penhold, Springbrook and Spruce View.
Although the grand opening of the new Evergreen Parent Link Centre is today, programming at the new facility, which will have a staff of two coordinators and one assistant, won’t start until tomorrow (Oct. 14).
“We’ve been preparing. We’ve had to paint and set up. When people walk in it will be set up for children,” said Davis-McMillan, whose agency has been running programs since summer out of the McMan office at Henday Mall.
McMan was awarded the $350,000 provincial grant last spring last spring to establish the Parent Link Centre, a service that provides free child development programming in 53 provincial locations that reach more than 186 communities. Up until now, Red Deer’s Parent Link Centre had served Innisfail and county families.
“There are lots of drop-in programs. We ask families to register for some but there are drop-in play programs as well,” said Davis-McMillan, emphasizing that programs, which are also offered to high-risk children with developmental issues, are free for users. If the local Parent Link Centre determines another agency outside the area is better suited for the child it will recommend a referral, said Davis-McMillan.
“If we have gone as far as we can with our education that is when we refer on to other programs to wherever they need to be referred to,” she said.
Anyone wanting more information on Evergreen Parent Link Centre can call 587-679-5861. If families live in Red Deer staff at the agency can be reached at 403-505-2590.