Im­proved par­ent­ing for ba­bies

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

It’s time for some lo­cal SPACE ex­plo­ration. SPACE stands for the Sup­port­ing Par­ents Along­side Chil­dren’s Ed­u­ca­tion, a pro­gramme for first-time par­ents of ba­bies aged be­tween two and four months.

Run in con­junc­tion with Across (Angli­can, Catholic and Com­mu­nity Sup­port Ser­vice) and All Saints Church, the pro­gramme is over­seen by Yvonne Pin­cott and Ros­alie Har­vey, both highly ex­pe­ri­enced in the early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor.

The pair are set­ting up a new Fri­day af­ter­noon group be­tween 1pm and 3pm where par­ents can meet and dis­cuss top­ics such as sleep­ing pat­terns, brain de­vel­op­ment, move­ment, and play with sand, wa­ter and fin­ger paint.

‘‘The gov­ern­ment funded Par­ents As First Teach­ers pro­gramme ends in Septem­ber, so this is an ideal op­por­tu­nity for par­ents to de­velop re­la­tion­ships with other par­ents, form sup­port net­works and dis­cuss top­ics rel­e­vant to their child’s de­vel­op­ment,’’ Pin­cott said.

‘‘The group be­longs to the par­ents, and we talk about what’s top for them. We don’t pro­fess to know all the answers, but of­ten the answers come from mem­bers of the group,’’ Pin­cott said.

It starts with younger ba­bies be­cause ‘‘what the mother of a 2-month-old wants to know is a lot dif­fer­ent to what the mother of an 8-month-old wants to know’’.

The ses­sions over 40 weeks in­clude ‘‘heuris­tic play’’, de­scribed as a ‘‘trea­sure bas­ket’’ of ev­ery­day mis­cel­la­neous house­hold items.

‘‘Ev­ery­thing is new to a baby, so we stay away from com­mer­cially made toys as much as pos­si­ble,’’ Pin­cott said.

A key fo­cus is that SPACE ac­knowl­edges and sup­ports par­ents as the best and most im­por­tant nur­tur­ers and educators of their chil­dren.

The $30 en­rol­ment fee in­cludes a work book with an ad­di­tional gold coin per ses­sion to cover tea and cof­fee.

Reg­is­tra­tions can be made through Across on 356 7486 or Har­vey on 027 907 6093.

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