Actions speak louder than words for families who are looking for child-friendly businesses to utilize.

The Family Resource Centre is encouraging the Columbia Valley to vote for this years Family Friendly Business Award before noon on October 5th, which has been sponsored by the Columbia Valley Early Years Coalition this year.

We thought sponsoring the award was very fitting with the services and programs that we provide, said Early Years co-ordinator Meagan Fazackerley. We support families with children and we did receive a grant from Childrens First and Success By Six for $2,000 so we thought this could be sustainable in the interim for probably the next five years to keep the business award alive.

Ms. Fazackerley will be on the lookout for businesses that offer activities (colouring pages, play areas, stickers, toy boxes, in-store events for children or sponsor community groups for children and family-friendly community activities); attitude (patient staff, employees who greet younger customers and understanding staff); and amenities (high chairs, easy doors to open, places to breastfeed, stroller parking, stroller friendly aisles, booster seats, soap at kid level, paper towels and dryers at kid level, change tables, kid friendly chairs and kids menus).

I think its important to have family-friendly businesses with the tourism industry and I think, just as a parent myself, its much easier to shop when businesses are family-friendly, said Ms. Fazackerley. For example, the Rainbow Donkey, theyve got a train table set up to keep them busy while youre shopping for your kids means parents can actually complete a task.

She added there were benefits to having family-friendly business for childrens development.

Its also important that children are viewed as people, and that theyre important as well, said Ms. Fazackerly. Vote for your favourite business and if anybody has any questions, they can contact me to do a free business consult as part of the program if they would like some suggestions about how they can be more family-friendly.

To cast your vote, visit