With the incredible opportunity provided by the recent funding approval for Millbrook’s Family Centre comes an equally incredible workload, accompanied by a very tight timeline to get organized.
Last month board members of the Millbrook Family Centre learned that their organization would receive federal and provincial support for broadly increased hours and programming for the local family centre. The approval came with some conditions: programming had to be offered at least five days a week, up from the current two, covering an extended client group with a wider age range, complete capital and operating budgets, and job descriptions for new positions to be staffed by certified candidates. And the changes were to be implemented by the beginning of April. All board members have day jobs, but were quick to meet the challenges in order to secure the funding.
Wanting to ensure new programming met the needs of the community, they held an event of Family Day to share the good news with current and potential Family Centre users and seek their input on the nature and timing of programs that most appealed. All programs offered by the centre require the participation of a caregiver- they do not provide day care. An Idea Board was set up equipped with pens and post-it-notes to allow the public to offer their ideas. It was clear based on the writing as well as the suggestions that some of them came from the youngsters themselves. Among the suggestions were programs building gardening and baking skills, Kindergarten readiness and Home alone ideas for older participants. Board members are looking to provide support for caregivers as well as youngsters.
Family Centre board member Kate Deklerck suggested that the centre may have to close up shop at the Old Millbrook School location for a few weeks as they renovate their space to get ready for the new programming. The organization is hoping to establish skeleton satellite programs during that hiatus, but given the work already on their plate, this might not be possible. It might serve their customers better to stay focussed and let this slide. Whatever they decide, with this committed group in charge, you can be sure it will be worth the wait. KG