Early Learning Programs


New Parent Group & Breast Friends

The New Parent Group is specially designed for new parents with an infant under twelve months of age. This program offers parents and their babies an inviting place to meet other new families in the community, receive information on parenting related topics, easy access to other programs and support offered by the Eastern Shore Family Resource Association.

Special visitors and professionals from our community attend the New Parent Group to provide information on topics relevant to new families.

The Public Health nurse attends on a monthly basis. Please check our calendar for dates. These visits are informal and our new parents are encouraged to request visitors and suggest topics to discuss according to their needs and interests.  ESFRA staff with related training and experience facilitate this program. Although New Parent Group is offered free of charge, families must register before attending.

ESFRA trained staff will be available to support, guide, and, provide resources. The service is offered in a comfortable, breastfeeding-friendly environment.

The Breast Friends group is intended to be an extension of our Great Expectations Prenatal Program as well as our New Parent Group.  Since it is a drop-in service, registration is not required.  Those currently in other ESFRA Programs are always welcome in Breast Friends, providing they are breastfeeding, or are currently pregnant and are planning to breastfeed. 

Our programs & services are offered at no charge to the community. Please note registration for New Parent Group is required. Please click here for registration information. Click here for more programs and services.

Breast Friends is a drop-in, peer support service that is available at the same time as each of our New Parent Groups. Breastfeeding moms are always welcome! You may drop-in to any of our scheduled New Parent Groups each week to receive Breast Friends support!  This informal drop-in program is open to the Eastern Shore community free of charge!

Beginning Monday

Oct. 19/20

Program Length = 1.5 hours

This includes:

  • Arrival

  • Conversation

  • Information Sharing (occasional guest speaker with a 45 minute presentation/discussion)

  • Feedings

  • Circle Time


"The children really enjoyed doing their homework. They liked the songs and words from other languages/sign language."

Length of program

is two hours.


This includes:
• Arrival & Freeplay
• Clean up
• Snack Time
• Creative experience
• Circle Time (story, songs and games)

Wee Bears is an Early
Learning Parent/Caregiver
and Child Interactive program
for children age 1-3+ years. Wee Bears, our signature program, has been providing quality early learning opportunities for families on the Eastern Shore since
January 2000.
Our programs and services are offered at no charge to the community. Please note registation for Wee Bears is required.

Please click here for registration information.

Click here for more
programs and services.

Length of Program
is 1.5 hours.

This includes:

  • Arrival & Freeplay

  • Snack

  • Creative experience

  • Clean up

  • Circle Time (story, songs and games)

Wee Bears

"I think that this program is excellent and an important part of this community."

"Nina likes snack time and meeting new friends. Momma likes the support and having time to chat with other parents. Also, it's a great place to learn about other resources and activites in the area."

"As a parent I like 'circle time'. It gives my children a chance to see me as a participant like them (not the teacher). I am able to be a role model for my children and see their interests expand."


locations and days


locations and days

Bookworms at Play

Bookworms at Play is an Early Learning, Family Literacy Program for

children ages 3-5 and their parents/caregivers. This program places a

greater emphasis on family literacy and early learning through the

parent/child interactive components, both in class and at home,

allowing parents to share in the preschool experience with their child(ren).                                             


Over the course of the program, we also invite local

artists, drama specialists and musicians from our

communities into the classroom, thus exposing the

children to the greater world outside their home

and the program room.

Our programs & services are offered at no

charge to the community. Please note

registation for Bookworms is required. Please

click here for registration information.

Click here for more programs and services.

Independent class time helps the

'Bookworms' transition when starting school, while allowing parents time to socialize and take advantage of parent information sessions or borrow books from ESFRA's 'travelling' Parent Resource Library.

In addition, each child receives a 'Bookworm Bag' of take-home activities for parent and child to complete and return to class each week. These activities will develop into a 'Bookworm Album' of

shared memories.

"I can't believe how much this has helped my daughter in so many ways! It's amazing how much you do. I would recommend this program to anyone!"

Ready to Play 

Ready to Play is a 2 hour parent / child interactive early learning program focusing on the social-emotional development of children ages 18 - 28 months.

Social and Emotional Development is a child’s ability to understand the feelings of others, control his/her own feelings and behaviors, get along with other children and build relationships with adults.

The Ready to Play Program is delivered twice per week for 30 weeks on Tuesday and Thursday mornings 9 am to 11 am at our Family Centre in Porters Lake – FREE OF CHARGE.  The primary goal of this program is to help parents support their child’s social and emotional development through play (A Child’s Work). Children learn about their world, practice and refine skills, use imagination and learn about relationships. Play is the perfect time for toddlers to work out strong feelings like anger.

Alongside classroom learning’s parents will receive information (on a monthly basis) on how they can implement best practice in their homes to support their child’s social and emotional development.




Ready to Learn





Ready to Learn is a 2.5 hour early learning program focusing on the social-emotional development of children ages 3 to 5 years with literacy based components. Children must be 3 years of age in order to attend.

The Ready to Learn Program is delivered twice per week for 30 weeks and is based on the PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies Preschool Curriculum). This program highlights and nurtures the development of self-control, positive self-esteem and emotional-social competencies in young children.  In addition, Ready to Learn has school readiness activities (following direction, active listening, problem solving and letter and number knowledge) built into the classroom experience but is not the core focus of this pilot program.

As with all ESFRA programs, Ready to Learn will be offered free of charge at our Family Centre in Porters Lake Tuesday and Thursday mornings 9 am to 11:30 am. While this program is not a parent/child interactive program, there is a required parenting workshop called Handle with Care which supports the mental health of young children for parents/caregivers to participate in on a monthly basis (monthly dates to be determined).

Handle with Care is an eight session program (2.5 hours) using simple interactive activities for parents/caregivers. Mental Health is a part of our overall health, it’s about how we think, feel, our level of self-esteem and how we cope with the ups and downs of every day. The spirit of the program is to celebrate parenting, promote self-care and recognize the value of all caregivers and their role in strengthening the social and emotional well-being of children; to grow in self-esteem, focus and learn.