Pender Island Child Care Society (Dragonfly Child Care and Family Resource Centre)
Our Impact Why We Exist
Dragonfly Child Care & Family Centre is the face of the Pender Island Child Care Society and the hub for early years education on Pender Island. For the past 19 years our dedicated staff has provided child care in a dynamic and nurturing environment. We seek to provide child care for Pender Island families at an affordable rate; we want to give parents a great child care experience that is not a financial burden. Over the past 10 years we have met the needs of our families through grant-supported Family Resource Programs. We originally offered one weekly program, and then expanded to meet various needs in the community. We now offer seven regular programs, including parent education when funds are available. We depend on grants to run our programs and our goal is to keep the cost for participation financially accessible to all members of our community.
Each year we see more and more families choose to make Pender Island their home in their quest for a family-centred lifestyle. The needs our our families continue to grow as they are faced with a challenging job market and limited resource options on island. We exist to help families adapt to these challenges by providing supportive, well thought out programs that meet the changing needs of today's families on Pender. That means the programs and support we offer is constantly being reviewed and updated. One of our current focuses is to increase the level of Parenting Education opportunities on Pender Island. We see parenting as a journey on which we are all always learning. It is difficult for our parents to travel to Victoria or the other Gulf Islands to take part in these rewarding classes, workshops and seminars. Our goal is to provide opportunities for our parenting community to have these enriching experiences in their own community without financial worry and hours of travel. By supporting the parents we will, in turn, support each child and, hence, the entire family.
Our Story What We Do
Our core work involves supporting families. We do this in two distinct ways:
Firstly, we provide child care so that parents may work or have a few hours of respite. This is especially vital when there is limited extended family support. Our child care has an excellent reputation, and we are always trying to expand the child care spaces to our families.
Secondly, we tailor our Family Resource Programs to meet the needs of the population. The Parent and Babe Drop-in is a first step for new families and new parents. It is there that we encourage parents to forge relationships that can sustain parents through the challenges of family life.
The Dad n' Me Pancake Breakfast was initiated to help fathers connect. Though all parents are welcome at Parents and Babes, many of the dads are working throughout the week so we hold our MCF-supported Dad's breakfast on the weekend when they are able to attend. It has been so rewarding to see these men help each other with child-related issues as well as support each other in their daily lives. Connections made at these breakfasts transcend occupations, finances and the rigours of daily life.
With generous funding from a variety of sources, we have been able to offer a wide range of Parenting Education Programs that have both instructed and inspired parents. Our close connection with families allows us to pin point the current needs including behavior, health and advocacy.
Every parent we encounter wants the very best for their child — physical, emotional, cognitive, creative, and social. By working with the Pender Islands School, the Parent Advisory Committee, the newly formed Epicentre (a place for tweens and teens), and the Community Hall Association, we try to ensure that there are services for each group of children. Our focus at Dragonfly is the early years. Art camps for 3 to 5 year olds during the summer have been very successful. Linking with our local Arts Society has allowed us to bring music into our classes, and in the past we have been able to offer Parent Child Mother Goose. This program in particular has been very supportive of our new parents.
Our Programs How We Do It
Since 2005, our Family Resource Centre has been providing programs and services that allow families to grow and share new experiences together. Programs are open to all parents and children, and are led by trained facilitators in our friendly and welcoming Centre. We are pleased to offer the following programs throughout the year, that focus on parenting, healthy exercise and nutrition for kids, introduction to books and music, and parents supporting each other. Come join us!
What You Can Do
We always appreciate any help that we receive. Our goal is to serve our families in the best way possible through programs, education and resources. All of our Family Resource Programs need to be funded in order to continue. Currently, our biggest need is for support of Parent Education programming. Lack of funding has limited this aspect of our services. We find if we can support and educate the parents the child is better supported. Please contact us or the Victoria Foundation to learn how you can contribute.