Save our community resource: Childcare, Mums & Bubs Group, and “Sing, Move & Play” Group
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Please help to keep our Bungarribee community resource – Childcare, Mums and Bubs Playgroup, and “Sing, Move & Play” group
Now it's just me at home with you what am I supposed to do all day? I can't really stand these same walls. Why do I feel this way? Is it just me?
This is an internal monologue that is had by more than half of mums staying at home with newborn and toddler children. It takes a really safe environment and time for a bond to form at these groups until mothers sharing these same experiences can actually open up to one another. Sometimes the bond is the time outside of your own head and the promise of a friendly adult face and conversation to keep your sanity in check. The holiday break can be hard enough let alone the thought of losing a resource such as these which have been available in our community.
The mums and bubs program offers a safe space and checks in on each mum or caregiver each week. This is an amazing asset because hearing that you are not alone and that your baby is normal (or maybe not as the case may be) is a comfort to mothers. As important are the supportive staff whose constant presence offers guidance and who can identify mothers and carers in need of help and point them to the direction of services and resources equipped to provide relief and further support as appropriate.
Is it Tuesday or Wednesday?... I hope it's Thursday tomorrow and we can go to Move Sing Play. I’m going to be confident and go to the park for lunch with those mums I sat next to last week. They seem nice.
No one understands the love a mother feels for their child or at the same time the loneliness and isolation a stay at home mum can feel but is often feeling too guilty to speak up about. When you find a like-minded person or group a dramatic change in mindset happens, and all of a sudden your internal voice seems less judgmental of yourself and softer, your confidence to ask questions and for help grows and before you know it your confidence in yourself is boosted. Playgroups, music programs, mums and bubs groups are for the mothers and carers as much as the babies and children.
Did you see that?? Oh my goodness he is growing up so much! I cannot believe how confident he is now to participate like that. It was only weeks ago he wouldn't even look at anyone else.
So the mums form a bond and we relax into a routine, we sit with the same group and usually in the same spot and we all get to know each other well. This includes the important little babies we're all there to parent. They get comfortable with this routine too and before you know it they are thriving. Taking first steps, singing songs, dancing, social interactions with their peers, physical and mental milestones left right and centre around the room. We all share in each other’s children's achievements because now we've become a close-knit group and we're invested in each other's wellbeing. When the mums are off having babies the dads and grandparents are attending to make sure the older children don't miss out. These classes aren't just for the mums looking for something to pass the time. There is a real commitment in attendance and many families schedule work, childcare and other commitments around these classes.
No we don't pay for it, we fundraise at Easter and Christmas and share these events with the wider community. No I’m serious!
We tell our friends and family and well, anyone who will listen with bursting pride about our community we have grown and continue to support because we cherish our place in it and the support we ourselves received when we needed it most.
The sentiments above are shared widely by many families in our community during the early years of parenting. Whilst we acknowledge there are commercial and budgetary considerations which may support the removal of these services, we would ask the decision makers to take into serious consideration the underlying benefits to families in supporting the mental and emotional wellbeing of parents, caregivers and children in our community which will unlikely be addressed by alternative services offered.
This Bungarribee community resource - Childcare, Mums and Bubs Playgroup, and “Sing, Move & Play” group now desperately needs the help of our community and its supporters to remain available. We need to highlight the significance these programs play in supporting mothers and children in our community and the gap the removal of these services will leave on so many families.
Please note these services are provided by the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) and not the local council. The decision to exit from childcare services has been made by the management of WSLHD.
We are appealing to Cr Bali to gain the support of the Council to assess how we can retain these services for the families of Blacktown.
For regular updates join https://m.facebook.com/groups/2067623876596414
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