By Submitted Article on May 15, 2020.
EARLY YEARS COALITION
Parenting can be challenging at the best of times. Parenting during COVID-19 is stressful! As parents we do the best we can to support our children’s health, learning and development. We try to help our children eat well, sleep well and make time for play. We work to establish a daily routine to help everyone predict what is happening next. A routine may include what time meals, play time and bedtimes are, as well as having conversations to check in with each family member about how their day or week is going.
Caregivers are discovering there are a multitude of websites with countless ideas on keeping children busy and engaged in the day. For example, there are several local and free activities for children and youth on the ActiveLethbridge.ca website. No matter how many activities there are available online however, we recognize facing many hours of keeping children busy at home can be daunting. If you are feeling discouraged, know that you are not alone. Lethbridge has several service agencies still open and available to connect with parents and families during COVID-19. Lethbridge caregivers, parents and families with children 0-18 can call Family Centre to find help and resources in our community from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Phone 403-320-4232.
Boys and Girls Club of Lethbridge provides information and referrals for youth as well as on site child care. Phone 403-327-6423.
Lethbridge Family Services is providing information and referrals for caregivers and families who are Permanent Residents, Temporary Residents, and Naturalized Canadian Citizens. Phone 403-320-1589, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Opokaa’sin, Indigenous Family Resource Hub, offers supports and resources for Indigenous youth, children, families and caregivers within the City of Lethbridge and surrounding areas. Phone 403-380-2569, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.
South Region Parents as Teachers, Family Resource home visitation program in Lethbridge and Southwest Alberta offers families free support from a certified parent educator by phone, tablet or computer. (For families with children prenatal-K). Phone 403-320-5983, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Family Ties provides caregiver and parenting support as well as general information for community agencies throughout southwest Alberta. Phone 403-336-4436, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday to Friday.
All caregivers are welcome to call any of these agencies – parents, stepparents, grandparents, foster parents, kincare families, aunties/uncles, and extended family. Parenting and caregiving during COVID-19 looks different than what we are used to, and these agencies are here to help!
Lethbridge Early Years Coalition works with community partners to support healthy childhood development in our community. For more information about Lethbridge Early Years, visit http://www.lethbridgeearlyyears.ca.