Play space opens at Parkland Mall

Parents and children now have a play centre at Parkland Mall. Family Services of Central Alberta, in partnership with Parkland Mall, opened a new Parent Link Centre family play space on Sept. 23 at the mall.

Both staff and parents interact with the kids the area set aside in the Parkland Mall.

Both staff and parents interact with the kids the area set aside in the Parkland Mall.

Parents and children now have a play centre at Parkland Mall.

Family Services of Central Alberta, in partnership with Parkland Mall, opened a new Parent Link Centre family play space on Sept. 23 at the mall.

“We do some programming already in the mall so it was an opportunity for us to expand our programs and have a permanent location where we could set up,” said Judy Scott, Parent Link program manager.

Family Services runs Village Gate Parent Link Centre at its downtown building at 5409-50th Ave. and the mall site is a branch of Village Gate.

The mall play space, located across from Labels or the former Sears site, is a place to promote play. It’s not a babysitting service. Parents must stay with their children.

“It’s a place where you can come and play with your children,” Scott said.

Toys and games on site are suitable for children up to about eight years old.

Parent Links are provincially funded and offer parent education, early childhood development and care, family support, information and referrals.

Scott said participation at the mall site has been steady and the location is great with city bus stopping nearby.

“This is just nice, bright, easy access. We know this is where families come so it’s perfect.”

Admission is free, but donations are encouraged because Family Services of Central Alberta is a non-profit organization.

“People have been very good about putting something in the jar so they must be enjoying themselves.”

The mall Parent Link is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., except for statutory holidays. A grand opening will be held in October.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com