Where to find free programs for families with kids in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon

Published February 17, 2023 at 10:44 am

Where to find free programs for families with kids in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon

Raising kids can be demanding – but there are resources out there for parents and caregivers in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon who want to spend time with their kids in a way that’s engaging and healthy.

A great resource is EarlyON Child & Family Centres, which offer free, high-quality programs for families with young children.

Different from child care programs, the centres provide opportunities for parents to learn and play with their child, meet new people, and get helpful advice and information from early childhood professionals – all in a safe and welcoming environment.

In Peel, EarlyON programs and activities are facilitated at 58 locations across the Region. You can find drop-in and registered programs here.

Planning some family activities in the spring, or any other time of year? Here are five important things to know about EarlyON centres:

1. EarlyON Child & Family Centres are not child care programs – they are family-focused centres geared towards the growth and development of children aged birth to 6 years.

Children as young as newborns are welcome at EarlyON centres, which accept kids from the ages of birth to 6. With a focus on the child’s early years, EarlyON is ideal for first-time parents and experienced parents alike who may have questions about those beginning years, or just want to ensure their kid gets the best start in life.

EarlyON Child & Family Centres aren’t child care programs where your child can be dropped off; instead, they allow parents and caregivers to attend together with their children and bond over activities, play, learn, and socialize with other families and children.

2. You can join your child for a wide range of engaging programs, both in-person and online.

There’s no shortage of options with EarlyON’s selection of programs, many of which are available indoors, outdoors and online. These programs are interactive, fun and educational, and allow parents to participate and bond with their kids. Popular programs include:

  • Music and Movement: Dancing, singing and interactive story time for families to be active together.
  • Storytime: Each week, families can tune in and choose from a diverse range of cultural stories.
  • Healthy Eating: These programs are designed to actively engage families in preparing healthy meals and snacks.

EarlyON teams include professional educators who provide activities to support your child’s learning and social and emotional growth. Play time respects each child’s unique interests and growth, so no child ever feels bored or left out.

3. EarlyON gives you opportunities to meet and learn from other families and from early childhood professionals, offering a sense of belonging and support.

If you’re a new parent, there’s nothing more valuable than getting help and resources from other parents, as well as early childhood professionals who can help you with any questions you may have. EarlyON centres provide a ton of opportunities for you and your kids to socialize with other families in your community, and access to qualified staff who can help you learn more about your child’s development, their strengths, and any goals to work towards.

4. Peel EarlyON Child & Family Centres offer daytime, evening and weekend programs all year round.

Regardless of which time of day works best for you and your kids, you’ll find an EarlyON centre capable of catering to your schedule. The centres across Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon offer a range of programs during the day, the evening, and the weekend – and they happen all year round, so even during the cold months you can still get out and spend some quality time with your kids.

5. Some EarlyON locations offer French services and Indigenous-led programs. 

Depending on the location, some EarlyON centres offer services in French and special Indigenous-led programs. The goal of each centre is to meet the unique needs of families who attend programs at their location, such as parents who want to give their kids a head start on understanding and speaking French, or want their kids to learn and appreciate Indigenous culture.

Parenting is hard, but you don’t have to go it alone. Parents, grandparents, and caregivers of all kinds can make use of EarlyON’s many services to help their kids learn, play and grow.

EarlyON Child and Family Centres are funded in partnership with the Region of Peel and Government of Ontario.

To register for an EarlyON program or get more information and resources, visit infopeel.ca/eon.

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