Monday, May 25, 2009

Local services that support mums

Going to local family programs when the kids were little was my lifesaver. It gave structure to our day and some much needed social interaction for me.

In this section I want to list local services that support mums. Perhaps you can find ideas for services that support families in your area?

My local council offers free child care at the local pool two mornings a week. The service is for one hour each family. The child care is in the hall next to the pool, and you have to go into the pool area to use the service, but you don't have to swim. Mums who use the service have coffee, read, eat, chat, open their mail, sit in the sun and have a rest, have a shower and wash their hair, take their other child to a swimming lesson, or swim laps.

Each of the local councils run play services in the local parks. They provide craft, outdoor activities, baby mats with baby toys, and storytime. One of these is operated in conjunction with a local child care centre.

Our local library provides weekly storytime for toddlers and preschoolers, which includes a craft activity. It also offers activities for children of various ages during school holidays.

Our local library also runs a parents' bookgroup, where the children's librarian is with the children, and I'm with the adults talking about books we've read. We sit at a table next to the children's area, so the kids come and go as the conversation continues. We meet one hour a month. The bookgroup is based on themes, topics, authors, countries or time periods, which I prepare. It means there is no pressure to obtain and read a particular book, and even if you don't have time to read for the topic, it is likely there is a book in your reading history you can draw on for the discussion. We really like it!

What local services in your area are you grateful for?

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