During my election campaign, one of my key committments was increasing support services for parents. Previously, parents groups were only available for first time parents. Last year I moved a motion in the Chamber to fund playgrounds for parents having their second, third or tenth child (read more here).
As a result of these playgroups, and feedback from mothers and fathers that attended, our dedicated Council staff have put together a new concept that has only recently started. Council is now running a drop-in playground out of Cabena Street on Monday, Wednesday and Friday’s. There are no bookings required and attendence is absolutely free of charge. The initiative has been an absolutely outstanding success, and we have had hundreds of different families through the centre, including some repeat visitors.
These sorts of facilities are crucial in addressing social isolation often experienced by both mothers and fathers left at home to look after new children while their partner goes back to work. It also helps to provide an enviornment where your children can meet and mix with other children their own age and develop social skills.
I attended myself last week with my two little girls and was incredibly impressed and somewhat overawed by the amount of activities available to children. The centre has painting, drawing, plenty of toys, an outdoor sandpit and play equipment to name a few. There are also playgroup facilitators and Counselors on hand to assist parents where needed.
This is an extremely exciting concept, and far more successful than I could have possibly imagined. If you have a young family, or even if you are grandparents who look after the kids now and then, I encourage you to get down there and check it out – I’m sure you’ll love it.
When: Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10am-3pm
Where: 22 Cabena Crescent, Chadstone
Let me know what you think!