The Humboldt Early Years Learning Resource Centre has been up and running for several weeks and word is getting out about the invaluable tools and strategies available to help parents with early youth development. To help get the word out to as many parents as possible, the Centre hosted an open house on Tuesday, May 10 and Wednesday, May 11. 

The brightly coloured decor, the stylized wall art, and the wide variety of tactile play items, all on mobile stations, welcomed the youngsters who began pouring into the Centre shortly after school let out. While traffic has been brisk during the opening weeks, the open house was having the desired effect in attracting new visitors, said Centre Coordinator Emily Gutowski.

“We are starting off with some drop in play times. It’s just a way to get families through the door, meeting the staff, seeing the space, and finding out what we are all about. We are really working with the community to bring those partnerships together and to get families any sort of resources they need.”

Those resources can range from print items, to early interventions, to consultations and referrals or even just another mom to talk to, explained Gutowski. As a partnership between the Horizon School Division and Partners Family Services, the Centre draws on a wealth of expertise from both. 

For children, the early preschool years are critical to establish a foothold for future learning and development. Any delays that are identified can be mitigated through a variety of interventions and activities, many that look exactly like play. That’s why it’s important for HEYFRC to connect with as many families as possible as its earliest opportunity. 

“The early development stages are crucial, and that’s why getting everybody through the door and aware that we are here, we’re ready, and we want families to come through.”

Interest is growing on a weekly basis, says Gutowski. It’s certain to keep growing with the introduction of the gross motor skills play structure, newly assembled in its own space. 

Katherine Oviatt, Horizon School Division Superintendent of Learning, was also on hand to welcome guests and interpret the space. She notes that the new outside area will soon be under construction with low maintenance materials selected to support safe outdoor explanation and fun throughout the seasons. 

For more information and access to all the fun and learning, connect at