Frequently Asked Questions
What is the North Suburban Child and Family Resource Network?
We are a community-based family support and education program. Funding is provided by a Coordinated Family & Community Engagement (CFCE) grant through the MA Department of Early Education and Care, awarded to the Wakefield Public Schools and in collaboration with Melrose Wakefield Healthcare.
The Family Resource Network supports all parents, caregivers, and educators of children from birth through age eight who live in Lynnfield, Malden, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield, and Winchester. We provide parent education workshops, playgroups, support groups, family activities and information on parenting and community resources. Programs and activities are located within our eight-town service area.
Why don’t you have more classes in my town?
Our grant funding requires that we provide programming in the eight communities we serve. Due to staffing and budget constraints, we can only offer classes in each community once or twice a week.
Why do I have to sign up every week?
Weekly registration allows us to keep class sizes small and allows more families to attend our programs. Small class sizes allow for a more personalized interaction between facilitators and families.
Can we show up for a class we have not registered for in case there is an opening available?
We ask that parents/caregivers do not show up for a class they have not registered for as it is not fair to the families who are on the waitlist. Also, many classes have materials for crafts and activities and we may not have enough available for extra participants.
How do I register via the e-newsletter?
We send out our e-newsletters on most Tuesdays and Fridays at 7 p.m. The Friday e-newsletter will list all of the classes for the following week and the Tuesday e-newsletter will list the classes that still have openings for the rest of the current week. Each e-newsletter also lists other events plus parent resources.
If you would like to register for a class, just click the link on the e-newsletter for the class that you are interested in. Once you click the link, you can put your information into the Parent/Caregiver section and then click the Blue Add button, to add the child(ren) you will be bringing. The Blue Add button is usually above the Parent/Caregiver section. Many classes often fill quickly, so it is best to register as close to 7 p.m. as possible.
I signed up for a class, but it did not allow me to add my child(ren).
We typically cap our class registration at 25 participants (children and caregivers included). If you are unable to add your child, that means the class is at capacity. In this case, please email [email protected] and we can add your child to the registration list.
How do I cancel a class if we are registered and cannot attend?
If you’ve registered for a class and can no longer attend, please let us know! We often have families on the waitlist and cancellations allow us to invite those families to join. Wondering how to cancel? Just email us at [email protected]
What is the wait list and how does it work?
We encourage any family to sign up for the wait list if a class is full or if you would like to attend more than 2 classes during the week. The wait list is located in our e-newsletter in the section before the weekly class listings. You fill out the form, and list the classes in order that you wish to attend. If there is a cancellation, someone will email you to let you know that space is available. Cancellation emails often occur the morning of a class, so we may email you as early at 7:30 am.
What is the cost for classes?
There is no charge for our classes. Families are welcome to make donations to our program at the website below. https://www.melrosewakefield.org/in-the-community/giving/donate-online/
Why don't you offer classes in the evening?
Classes aren’t offered in the evenings mainly due to Staff availability. Our goal is to offer one weekend program a month to allow more working families to attend.
Why don't you offer music/sports/gymnastics?
Our grant mandates that the focus of our groups center around early-literacy social-emotional development and school readiness. While many of our programs incorporate music and movement, we cannot strictly offer sports or music classes.
What should I expect from a program? Is parental involvement required?
Our programs are most successful when caregivers are active participants in the class. Most classes begin with 10-15 minutes of free-play, followed by cleaning-up led by the children! Every group incorporates saying hello and welcoming families, reading stories, and singing songs. Some groups have a structured craft or activity. Each group has a targeted age-range and activities are tailored to support learning for that age-group.