Early Years Family Resource Centre takes on first day of operation

The Prince Albert Early Years Family Resource Centre has a variety of play spaces for children, including this area designed for babies. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

The Prince Albert Early Years Family Resource Centre opened its doors on Tuesday.

The centre—located in the Gateway Mall—is available for families with children up to five years of age. The space contains several play areas targeted for babies and mobility, for example.

“You will see play centres, puppets, a dramatic play area, a loft area, child-sized appliances including a full play kitchen, a block centre, a water table, story nook, an infant centre, a physical activity area and much more,” said a news release.

Staff will offer special activities and programs on a regular basis.

The purpose of the Early Years Resource Centre is for families to play and learn together, said the release. The release stated that research shows in the zero to five age window, brain development occurs faster than any other time in a person’s life.

In the 2018/19 budget, the provincial government signed the Canada-Saskatchewan Early Learning Child Care Agreement.

According to the federal government, objectives include expanding Francophone child care and including preschool children experiencing disabilities.

The agreement committed to opening early learning centres in Prince Albert, La Ronge, Meadow Lake, Sandy Bay, Saskatoon, Regina, North Battleford, Moose Jaw, Yorkton and Nipawin.

The Early Childhood Council, Family Futures and KidsFirst have been planning for the centre for years.

“Now that the province and the federal government have reached an agreement to support and fund family resource centres, that committee has expanded.”

The centre is located across from Coles. It’s open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

More to come later this week.