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“It’s great to have a parent group that offers more than just coffee and a chat,” remarked one SPACE parent.
SPACE is a 30-week support group for first time parents with newborn babies. Parents discuss relevant child development and parenting topics, and have play sessions that support their children’s learning.
“The value of SPACE for parents is almost immeasurable. As a first time parent it’s quite an isolating experience and SPACE brings you out of the home and into a community,” said Sarah Te One, SPACE NZ Trustee.
In 2011, 118 SPACE programmes were being run nationally, and 299 programmes had been completed since the two pilot programmes were started by the Hutt Playcentre Association in 2003.
The programme is delivered throughout New Zealand by a range of organisations including Playcentre, faithbased groups and community groups. It has a flexible structure which allows organisations to adapt it to meet the needs of first time parents in their community.
Organisations are working together collaboratively to deliver SPACE in their local community. An example of this is in Auckland, where St Peter’s Anglican Church in Pakuranga is working with Plunket Parents as First Teachers to run SPACE.
The Tindall Foundation funding has enabled SPACE to become a national organisation. SPACE NZ Trust was formed in October 2010.
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