I have blogged quite a bit about commercial drop-ins but the free Parent Resources Drop In Centre at 173A Front St. E. and Lower Sherbourne (behind Rabba and beside the library) has been one of the two most important resources we’ve used when raising our two children. This is one of two Parent Resources locations. The other is at 1117 Gerrard St. East, east of Jones Ave.
It offers an unstructured environment for kids from 0-6 to play and socialize. They provide free, healthy snacks around 10:45 followed by a circle time of songs and stories. This site has:
- Really nice facilitators with lots of good parenting advice – only if you request it
- A kitchen
- High chairs for lunches
- A bathroom with change table.
- A ton of toys and books for kids 0 to 6.
- Craft table in the early hours
- Dress-up costumes
- Pretend Kitchen (pictured above)
- Slide, parachute, crawling tunnel
- Stamps and stickers on way out
We have spent a ton of time here and my kids have generally really enjoyed it. And, of course, it gives parents and other care givers the opportunity to socialize.
This Centre is open Tuesdays and Fridays 9am to 3pm and Saturday* 9:30-12:30, September to July. I put an asterisk beside the Saturday time because technically the Saturday program is run by the Ontario Early Years Program. They share a site. As a parent you wouldn’t really notice any difference. I had used the facility for a couple years before I understood this nuance. The Centre is closed for two weeks over Christmas and for the month of August.
Below is a picture of snack time after the kids have torn through it 🙂 On this day they provided (again, free of charge) yogurt, cheese, cantaloupe, bananas, bagels, cream cheese, cereal, milk and water.