Following an increasing concern amongst Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) dual service couples and other military families in the Petawawa area, the Petawawa Military Family Resource Centre (PMFRC) will be hosting a Childcare Fair on Feb. 11 to provide families with information on childcare options in the area.
The Childcare Fair is the first of its kind being held at the PMFRC.
“We are organizing a childcare fair for all families in the area with the hope of regrouping all childcare providers in one room with parents to network and discuss their needs,” said Francis Priest, Deployment Support Coordinator at the PMFRC.
The event is being held because many military families posted to Garrison Petawawa are having a difficult time finding suitable childcare options, according to Priest, as options are limited in Renfrew County. This is especially important with the possibility of an increasing number of deployments at the base.
“We know that Garrison Petawawa is gearing up for high readiness and wanted to assist soldiers and their loved ones in the planning of their family care plans and childcare,” explained Priest.
The fair will include representation from various community partners. Topics like license and unlicensed childcare, nannies, before and after school care and teen caregivers will be discussed. The fair will feature a discussion forum with a panel of childcare experts.
Parents will have time at the end of the fair to meet with local childcare providers and learn who provides overnight care, long-term care, part-time day care and occasional childcare.
The event will be bilingual.
“We hope that parents are able to meet potential childcare providers, have a discussion about their childcare needs and possibly find or learn of solutions, discuss family care plans for the military families and inform on the variety of services offered in the county of Renfrew so not just PMFRC.
“It is our hope that parents who attend are more informed and have some guidance on how to find childcare suitable for their needs and that they know how to implement their family care plan,” noted Priest.
Priest encourages both parents and local childcare providers to be sure to attend the event.
“I would ask local childcare providers to come out and advertise their services even if their spots are full now as you may be looking to fill some in the future and you may make great connections with our community partners.
“To parents, I would encourage them to come out and voice their childcare challenges and to be open to look at various ways these can be resolved,” said Priest.
The PMFRC Childcare Fair will be held at the South Side Community Centre from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Free childcare will be offered during the event. Call the South Side Childcare Centre at 613-687- 2104 ext. 231 to pre-register for childcare by Friday, Feb. 10 at noon.
Visit the PMFRC website for more details.