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New home needed for Parent Link

The Town of Banff is desperately trying to find a new space for the Bow Valley Parent Link program as the current space is simply too small for parents and kids.

The Town of Banff is desperately trying to find a new space for the Bow Valley Parent Link program as the current space is simply too small for parents and kids.

Town of Banff officials say the baby boom in recent years means the program that is run out of the Banff Seniors’ Centre is becoming more and more popular with parents and their young ones.

Mary Brewster, Banff’s Community Services manager, said the program sees as many as 450 to 500 parents and little ones a month, and, while staff never turn anyone away, some families opt to leave or come back another time.

“It’s our intention for this program to continue, but in a larger space because the space has not been able to accommodate all the families that want to come,” said Brewster.

“We truly have outgrown the room we are in. We are currently on the hunt for new space in town, recognizing that there is no funding for rental.”

Bow Valley Parent Link Centre is a partnership between the Town of Banff’s Family and Community Support Services and Town of Canmore’s FCSS department.

It offers services for families with children 0-6 years of age: parent education, early childhood development and care, family support, and information and referral.

Programs include a drop-in play program, parent workshops, access to a comprehensive resource library, and structured learning activities. All Parent Link programs and services are free of charge.

Brewster said the municipality is investigating other possibilities for housing the program, such as not-for-profit spaces like church halls or commercial spaces in town.

“We recognize that would require negotiation and maybe sponsorship,” she said.

Brewster said there may be a temporary solution for the program to overflow into the Pioneer Room at the Seniors’ Centre, but that is not a viable long-term solution.

“There’s a lot of things happening at the Seniors’ Centre and it’s at capacity already. You can’t fit a square peg into a round hole,” she said.

“Capital upgrades and opportunities to expand there are also limited, especially with the current economic climate.”


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