Home' My Ballarat : My Ballarat March 2011 Contents City of Ballarat Community Magazine April 2011
Playgroups -- for all
Are you looking for a fun, safe and educational outlet for your young children?
Or perhaps you would like to connect with other mums or dads and share
stories of sleep deprivation and the joys and challenges of raising children?
Maybe your child has a special need or interest and you would like to meet
other families with similar experiences?
Then a playgroup may be the place for you and your children.
Council supports a number of community and special interest playgroups all of
which provide a wonderful opportunity for families to come together each week,
for children to play, parents to chat and all have fun together. Support comes
in the form of information, resources and help with sourcing venues, as well as
recruiting new families through Council's Maternal and Child Health services.
Council's Playgroup Coordinators also work closely with Playgroup Victoria, the
peak body for playgroups in Victoria.
This month Council is also starting a new Intergenerational Playgroup aimed at
grandparents who care for their grandchildren.
If you would like further information about your local playgroup contact
Council's Playgroup Coordinator on 5320 5682 or by email at
The "Food for Thought" playgroup is for children with some form of food
intolerance or allergy. Through this playgroup a few of the mums have
produced a cookbook called the No E.N.D. Cookbook - Egg, Nut and Dairy
Free Cooking Has Never Been So Easy. By sharing their own recipes they
quickly realised they could collate nearly 300 recipes to help families
in a similar situation.
Commonality and support is a consistent theme that occurs through all
playgroups. Families come together, make friends and begin to build
stronger connections within the community
Promoting the best start
The Best Start 'Promoting Breastfeeding' project is about to launch into its
second phase with the development of a new action plan, including plans
for a centralised parenting centre.
The project, now in its fifth year, was hailed a success by local agencies
Ballarat Community Health, Ballarat Health Services, Maternity Coalition, St
John of God Hospital, Maternal and Child Health, Australian Breastfeeding
Association, Centacare and Best Start (who are all project partners) as
well as the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development,
Maternal and Child Health and the Catholic Education Office. All agencies
took part in a recent review and planning day for the next three years of
Since the project's introduction in 2006, the number of women from Ballarat
and the surrounding region who breastfed their children has increased. In
2006/2007 the number of children fully breastfed on discharge was 67.7
per cent, two weeks 64.9 per cent, three months 45.5 per cent and six
months 34.3 per cent. In 2009/2010, the number of children fully breastfed
on discharge was 77 per cent, two weeks 67 per cent, three months 49.6
per cent and six months 36.3 per cent.
The Best Start project aims to promote the benefits of breastfeeding to
the community, encourage local businesses to support the program and
obtain workplace accreditation. Highlights of the program to date include
the development of a breastfeeding room, charter and art exhibition.
An education program for young mothers and the introduction of breastfeeding
facilities at public events are some of the actions in the next phase of the
project. The new action plan, to be rolled out over the next three years, will
be finalised in April.
For further information on the project contact Council's Promoting
Breastfeeding Facilitator Lisa Thorneycroft on 5320 5676 or email
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