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Montreal Families

Parent-child programs help strengthen family ties

Parenting is a tough but rewarding job and one that shouldn’t be carried out alone. Support, whether from family members, educators, community workers or others, is the key to ensuring a strong bond between parents and their children. One place families can turn to is CCS Community Services, which offers three programs designed to help parents be more successful in raising their kids as well as making sure children get the best start in life. The programs are low-cost and are offered in English.

The Baby Talk program welcomes expectant parents and those with children ages newborn to 1-year-old. It’s based on “Nobody’s Perfect,” a parent-education program by Health Canada. Parents meet once a week to discuss issues such as finding time for themselves, coping with stress, baby safety and much more. Participants are encouraged to share their experiences and to build networks with other parents. The cost is $10 for an 11-week session. There will be two sessions, one from September to December and the other from March to May. Both will take place at the Marcel Giroux Community Centre, 4501 Bannantyne St., Verdun.

The Early Head Start program is for parents and children up to the age of 5 who participate in activities such as arts and crafts, exercises and reading. The program, which will run from September through June, is free and helps prepare kids for school while encouraging parent-child activities and socializing among the adults. It will be held every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Orchard Elementary School, 400 80e Ave., Lasalle.

The Little Learners program is appropriate for children ages 2 to 5 and focuses on educational games, arts and crafts as well as physical activity, all geared towards preparing children for school. Parents can stay for the class or drop off their child. The program runs from September to June. Classes will take place Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to noon and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. as well as on Thursday afternoons from 1:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. at the Marcel Giroux Community Centre, 4501 Bannantyne St., Verdun.

Fees vary depending on the number of classes taken, but all participants must pay a registration fee of $40 with an Access Verdun card (available free to any resident of Montreal by visiting the Marcel Giroux Community Centre) or $45 without the card.

For more information, call (514) 937-5351 ext. 246, email lauram@ccs-montreal.org or visit www.ccs-montreal.org/en.

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