Play & Learn

The first six years of a child’s life are the most, creating the foundations for cognitive, physical and social development, health and resiliency as an adult. 

Early child development sets the foundation for learning, behaviour and health. Getting kids on the right path in the early years is one of the best investments we can make as a society and helps us tap the tremendous human potential of our children.” (Dr. Fraser Mustard, The Founders’ Network)

Core Values and Practices

Eastside Family Place’s mission is to support the healthy development of young children, parents and caregivers. Eastside Family Place (ESFP) fosters healthy child-parent and healthy child-caregiver interactions:

  • Trained professional staff model age-appropriate interactions with children.
  • ESFP provides a welcoming, safe, supportive and stimulating environment that encourages networking and capacity building opportunities for both adults and children.
  • ESFP provides families with access to a variety of programs, resources, supports and connections to community resources.
  • The Drop-In provides opportunities for parents and caregivers to learn and participate in activities that promote the healthy development and early socialization of children.
  • Children have access to a wide variety of play-based activities that support early learning and development, such as painting, sand play, playdough, dramatic play, books and more. These activities support a child’s innate curiosity and creativity, encouraging learning through exploring, imagining, sharing, testing, laughing and growing. (Based on BC Association of Family Resource Programs Valued Best Practices.)

Early Learning

During the first few years of life, the brain forms 700 new synapses (neural connections) every second (Harvard University). Experiences and connections, both positive and negative, affect a child’s genes and brain connections. Healthy development starts at conception and healthy early learning starts at birth through caring and responsive relationships, with family members and caregivers, and through a safe, supportive and stimulating environment that engages and encourages the child’s learning.

Eastside Family Place provides a variety of programs and services that support early learning in preschool children, from newborn to age six. These programs and services recognize the important role of parents and caregivers in a child’s development and recognize that parents and caregivers often need personal supports, too.  Consequently, ESFP offers many parenting programs and workshops that address the needs of parents/caregivers and facilitate their personal healthy development. Please refer to our Programs pages for more information.


Eastside Family Place offers a very welcoming and nurturing environment where my children can develop socially to better prepare them for school and life.”

Parent Participant