There are many free or low-cost programs for families with kids in Sooke. This is a list of current programs.
Baby Talk – These informal drop-in education sessions are put on by the Sooke Health Unit. Topics focus on infants 0-12 months of age and are led by a public health nurse. This is a great way to learn about raising your baby as well as a great way to meet other parents of young infants. They are held every Tuesday from 10am-11:30am. The Health Unit is located in the CASA building on Townsend Road. For weekly topics call the Health Unit at 250-642-5464.
Head Start Music Program – Music based activities – singing, moving, listening and instrument playing to help children learn. This program is provided by the Victoria Conservatory of Music and supported by School District 62. It is held at the CASA building on Townsend Road. Program is offered for Ages: 2-3 year olds and 4-5 year olds.
Mother Goose – SFRS (see below) runs a program called Mother Goose – songs, stories, and rhymes for parents with their children ages birth to 18 months old and 18 months old to 3 years old.
SEAPARC – SEAPARC, the local pool and arena, is located on Phillips Road. There is a drop-in Kindergym on Saturday mornings (but not on long weekends), from 10:30-12. It costs $3 per child. They provide a bouncy castle and lots of play time for the kids. There is also drop-in swimming for families on Friday nights from 3:30-7:45, and Fun Factor swim on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-3:30. For more information check out the SEAPARC website: http://www.crd.bc.ca/seaparc/index.htm
Sooke Family Resource Society – There are different morning drop-in programs through this organization. They are located in the CASA building on Townsend Road. On Mondays from 9:30-11am there is a drop-in program for families (the first, third and fifth weeks of the month are for children aged 2-6, and the second and fourth weeks are for babies under 2). On Wednesdays from 9:30-11am there is a Parent Discussion group where the children stay in one room with child-minders and the parents (and small babies) go to another room for discussions (topics change weekly). For more information on any of these programs, go to http://www.sfrs.ca/child-development/parent-child-drop-ins/
Sooke Library – The Sooke Library is located on Anna Marie Road, and they host storytimes for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. For more information or to register, call 250-642-3022. The storytimes include stories, songs, rhymes, fingerplays, and crafts for the older ones.
Sooke Region Museum – the museum sometimes has events that are good for young kids and parents to check out together. Their events page is at http://www.sookeregionmuseum.com/special-events.htm
StrongStart – This program is located at John Muir school (on West Coast Road). It is a drop-in program for kids up to 6 years old. It runs every weekday morning, as long as school is in. Current hours are Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9:15 to 12:15, and Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 1:00 to 4:00. For more information on StrongStart, go to http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/early_learning/strongstart_bc/
Tumblebums – This isn’t in Sooke, but we don’t really have anything comparable, so I thought I’d give it a mention. Tumblebums is a great indoor play area for kids located in Goldstream Village in Langford, about a 30-minute drive from here. There are a whole bunch of fun things for the kids (including slides, a pirate ship, and a bubble machine that gets turned on every once in awhile), and one side of the room has couches and chairs for the parents, along with coffee, tea, and snacks you can pay for. There’s also a more private room with a change table and a nursing corner, and a bathroom with potty seats and step-stools available. Super kid-friendly, of course! See their website for their address, current hours and rate info: http://www.tumblebums.com/