The main floor of the Daybreak Parent Child Centre is devoted mainly to Parent Programming. The parent area consists of a large comfortable living-room space, a large commercial kitchen (where cooking group takes place), child minding space, and a clothing room. There is warm and inviting with couches, loveseats, and a computer work station with internet access.
The clothing room contains clothes, shoes, and other items that people donate to Daybreak. Daybreak families have access to the clothing room where volunteers will assist them in gathering clothes that their families need.
Groups generally take place in the parent area, with some (i.e., Walk and Talk) taking place outdoors and in other rooms in the building. Parents and caregivers are welcome anytime in the parent area for coffee, tea, to use the computer, or simply for a chat. Information is posted on the bulletin board in the parent area about upcoming events, sign-up sheets, programs that are offered, and various other pamphlets from other organizations throughout St. Johnís and surrounding area.
Daybreak is an organization that supports the entire family. There is an expectation of involvement by parents and caregivers when children are enrolled in the Childrenís Centre. Involvement can take many forms:
The monthly parent nights offer staff and parents the opportunity to discuss such topics as childrenís progress, upcoming events, and programming. Staff encourage parents and caregivers to visit Daybreak to spend time with their children in the classroom, on field trips, and during lunch time.
Parents and caregivers are encouraged to join one or more of the many groups. Groups at Daybreak consist of open and closed groups. Closed groups are for parents and caregivers of children enrolled in the Childrenís Centre. Open groups are for any family and can be accessed by simply contacting the Coordinator of Parent Programs (726-8373) in order to register.
There are numerous groups offered to families and they vary from year to year depending on needs of the families. Groups that have been offered include:
Parents are encouraged to join any group of their interest. Some parents have enjoyed groups so much that they have facilitated or co-facilitated groups with the assistance of staff.
For those who may need individual support, a Social Worker is on staff and a Parent Program Coordinator, who are available to meet with people on an individual basis as needed.
Daybreak attempts to reduce barriers that stand in the way of parents attending groups and events. Two of these barriers are child minding and transportation. Therefore, Daybreak provides transportation for those who do not have any other means of getting in, and child minding for siblings who are not in other programs or attending school.
Parent Advisory Committee
Daybreak staff is committed to working partnership with parents. Suggestions, feedback, and discussion with parents are encouraged to assist us in serving families better. The Parent Advisory Committee is a group that consists of parents/caregivers, the Director of Childrenís Centre, and the Coordinator of Parent Programs.
Members meet monthly. This committee was started to allow parents to have a collaborative role in Daybreak.
In an effort to keep families better informed, a monthly newsletter and calendar are provided to Daybreak families. The newsletter includes information about upcoming events, information on groups that are currently being offered, information on community programs (i.e., the R.E.A.L. Program, Coats for Kids, etc.), notices for closures, recipes, and general notices for parents. The newsletter also includes a parent page so parents can submit and showcase their poetry, drawings, recipes, or creative writing.
Included in the newsletter is a calendar of events, a menu for the Childrenís Centre (information about the food being served on a particular day), and a schedule of DEEDFRI programs.
Christmas Party and June Banquet
Spending time with children is important. However, it is also important for parents and caregivers to have social times independent of children. Every year there is a Christmas party in the evening for parents and their guests. It consists of dinner, gifts, and usually a DJ for dancing. The Christmas party is open to any family who receives support from Daybreak.
The June Banquet is for parents of children enrolled in the Childrenís Centre. It is an opportunity to recognize parents for their contribution to Daybreak. All those who have participated in specific parent groups are given certificates for their participation. There is also a dinner and dance at the June Banquet.