TIE Tykes will soon hit its second anniversary, and it hopes to keep serving the community for longer than that.
However, the Together In Elmwood Parent Child Coalition program’s funding through Neighbourhoods Alive! will run out soon. Program co-ordinator Leilani Esteban said private donors are more than welcome to contribute to keep the program afloat.
"We are looking for funding to keep this program sustainable," said Esteban. "We do have funding to run it for a while longer, but we still need to find funds to keep this program alive and sustained in this community because we have over 100 caregivers registered.
"We’re going to sustain the program through whatever means we can."
TIE Tykes is designed for caregivers of children aged 0-6. Esteban explained that while parents often bring their children, aunts, uncles, grandparents and those running home day cares will take part.
The program operates out of Chalmers Community Centre at 480 Chalmers Ave. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and out of the Elmwood East Kildonan Active Living Centre at 180 Poplar Ave. Tuesdays and Thursdays.
A typical day runs from 9 a.m. to noon with activities like active games, stories and crafts all packed into a morning.
"This place provides an opportunity for kids 0-6 to learn social skills, healthy, active living skills. There’s a nutritional component," she said, adding there have also been guest speakers brought in to talk about parenting.
As well, on days the program runs out of Chalmers, parents can receive one-on-one instruction through the Positive Parenting Program (Triple P).
"If you have any concerns about raising your child in their early years, our facilitators are trained to provide free consultations and they help parents get through some hard times like toilet training, biting," she said.
TIE Tykes will be holding a second anniversary party at Chalmers Community Centre on Feb. 8 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The evening will have food, entertainment, and a slideshow of pictures from the program’s history.
"The second-year anniversary is a thank-you to Neighhbourhoods Alive!" said Estaban. "When we first started as a coalition, we were wanting to expand and provide programming to the community that would be free – an early-years program for caregivers where we could even out the disparities in the community because some people can’t afford to go to Discovery Zone and places like that."
Together In Elmwood also provides numerous other programs, like first-aid training and food-handler certification, for adults. More information is available at www.tie-pcc.ca.