"We have all heard the phrase, it takes a village to raise a family. Proudly serving our community for over 25 years, The Family Place has been a little village for over thousands of families.”
With that, Dawn Gutzke, the executive director of The Family Place and the Weyburn Early Years Family Resource Centre, kicked off the ceremonies for the grand opening of their new location at 744 McLelland Drive.
The Family Place, for years located on 4th Street in downtown Weyburn, finished its move into the new location earlier this month and has been preparing to open the doors to resume the various programs it offers, ranging from the Little Learner programs to the Mini-Go program, and many, many more.
Speaking on behalf of the provincial government and Education Minister Jeremy Cockrill was Weyburn-Big Muddy MLA, Dustin Duncan. He shared the background of the Early Years Family Resource Centres which have been adopted throughout the province.
“When I first became Education Minister, the Ministry came to me to say that Weyburn matched the criteria for an early years family resource centre,” Duncan explained. “I said to them, well, I think I know just the place.”
During the last school year, The Family Place Weyburn Early Years Family Resource Centre had over 2,200 people come through the doors, with 120 professionals visiting to help offer their expertise to families.
The centre itself was developed through a number of discussions with various organizations. The accountable partner for the centre is the Holy Family Roman Catholic Separate School Division, while The Family Place handles the day-to-day operations of the facility. In the last fiscal year, $273,655 was provided through the Canada-Saskatchewan Bilateral Early Learning and Child Care Agreement to help the program.
“Holy Family has always had a deep-rooted belief in the importance of early childhood development,” said Bruno Tuchscherer, speaking on behalf of the board of HFRCSSD. “We recognize that the early years of a child’s life are the foundation upon which their future success is building. This understanding has driven our dedication to partner in this project and provide support and resources to families and children in our region.”
Representing the City of Weyburn at the event was Mayor Marcel Roy.
“We, as a city, will give you continued support for this place,” said Roy. “We, as a community, will give continued support because this is such an important place within our community.”
The New Facility
The parents of the children who attend the programs at The Family Place were overjoyed at the new location, as they got to receive a tour of the facilities.
“It is just a beautiful facility for them,” said one parent. “There’s more room for the kids to play and just... bright, updated, accessible, which I know is a big thing for them. They want to be available to all families in Weyburn, and at the old place I know that was a bit of a hindrance to them, so I’m really happy that they get this beautiful new space because they do so much for the kids in this town.”
“It’s bright... and all the equipment... They thought of everything,” said another. “There’s everything here and things that I wouldn’t have even thought of for kids to experience and try out. It’s phenomenal, not that the old place wasn’t phenomenal, but this is very amazing.”
“Dawn included the board throughout all the process, so we were here at the very beginning when the purchase was first made, and it’s an entirely different building than it once was. It’s pretty amazing to see,” added a board member.
The Family Place initially purchased the new location in 2021 and then went to work with renovations to get the facility ready to fit their needs. A number of sponsors helped over the years, and there were other fundraising efforts as well.
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