Toy Library and Family Resource Centre Program
The toy library has more than 2,000 educational, non-violent toys that it makes available to families in the community. More than a toy lending centre, the toy library is also a meeting place where children can develop their psychomotor and social skills and where parents, mainly mothers, can relax, socialize and talk.
The toy library and family resource centre program were created based on the principle that every child should have a place to develop and grow. The program is designed to promote the interaction of children with their surroundings. This is achieved through socialization, awareness and early childhood stimulation activities and parental enrichment. The program also helps families break out of isolation and it contributes to the learning through play component of the child’s development.
The toy library and family resource centre serve a real need for a large number of low-income families. 80% of the families that are members are from disadvantaged neighbourhood and some 80% are newcomers to Québec. In this context, the toy library provides an indispensable service to these families. The parents are able to borrow toys, games and books for their children from birth to 5 years old, and the early childhood stimulation workshops contribute to strengthening and developing the children’s skills. The results are concrete: over time, the children who take part in the program develop a sense of responsibility regarding the borrowed games, their overall development is enhanced and they are better prepared to attend daycare and school.
The program benefits from the close collaboration of several partners including the Saint-Laurent municipal library which leads reading workshops once a week. Another partner, the Saint-Laurent CLSC, refers families with specific needs including vulnerable children with learning difficulties or who are at risk.
The toy library’s families are also granted access to the sports facilities of the Saint-Laurent Y centre.
For more information, please contact Oneyda Arias, at the Saint-Laurent Y centre,
(514) 747-9801 ext.237.