The Greater Nanaimo Early Years Partnership is hosting two more healthy start fairs in the coming months, with one March 6 in Lantzville and another May 12 in Cedar. (Stock photo)

Healthy start fairs a chance to connect for Nanaimo parents

Greater Nanaimo Early Years Partnership holding event March 6 in Lantzville

Nanaimo families with children up to age six are invited to be part of upcoming healthy start fairs that include activities and information.

The Greater Nanaimo Early Years Partnership is hosting two more healthy start fairs in the coming months, with one March 6 in Lantzville and another May 12 in Cedar.

The fairs are meant to bring together families and service providers, helping parents make connections and find out information in an environment that engages children.

Amber Bruner, Early Years Healthy Start Fair coordinator, told the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island in a blog post last year that Nanaimo parents know there are great resources and services in the community, but don’t always know where or how to access them.

“So we built the Nanaimo Early Years website and we had a virtual hub with information. But we still didn’t have that one-on-one connection that’s needed or wanted. That’s when the idea of the fairs came up,” Bruner said in the blog post.

The partnership holds the fairs at a range of locations, on different days of the week, to try to be accessible to more families.

“Without the fairs, if a family needs the support, they would have to find it themselves – and sometimes they don’t even know they need a service until they start chatting with a provider at our fair. It’s just such a great one-stop-shop resource for families,” Bruner said. “And our work is never finished! There are always new families, new service providers, and new programs.”

The fairs include information about early learning and development supports, public health supports, pregnancy supports and other resources. There will be vision screenings, snacks, games, stories, other activities, giveaways and more.

Next week’s fair is Friday, March 6, from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Seaview Elementary School in Lantzville. The next one after that will be May 12 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School in Cedar.

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