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Newell, S 2005, Kindy Play proposal: parental feedback, report prepared for YWCA Communities for Children Advisory Committee, Lismore, NSW.


WHAT IS THE KINDY PLAY PROPOSAL? The Kindy Play proposal is an innovative idea to establish a drop-in centre within the Lismore CBD for parents/carers and their children (primarily aged 0–5 years) as part of a more holistic approach to supporting parents and encouraging them towards behaviours and practices to enhance their own and their children’s physical and emotional wellbeing. Establishing Kindy Play would require a collaborative effort between many local agencies (government and NGO) and local parents/carers. Therefore, it would also serve as a mechanism to strengthen inter-agency relationships and to build on existing social capital and community engagement. While the community development and partnership approach could see the project evolve in a variety of ways, the currently proposed core functions and activities are: • Indoor play activities for children aged 0-5 years: floor activities for babies, soft play activities for toddlers and a story time and/or music session for all ages, run in conjunction with the library and conservatorium. • Breastfeeding-friendly cafe or eating area for parents/carers, where they could get reasonably-priced drinks and nutritious snacks, or bring their own food and drinks. • Family-friendly, clean, free facilities (eg: toilets, changing areas, etc). • Comprehensive and current information about the many services available to and for families locally. • Formal and informal access, in one place, to representatives from various government and NGO services. • Informal social interaction / networking opportunities for parents/carers and children. • Designated support or educational programs for children or parents/carers, based on demand. PURPOSE OF THIS REPORT The Kindy Play proposal was developed in response to a range of needs expressed by some parents at the YWCA’s Communities for Children public meeting (November 2004) and was inspired by the Kindyland business that ran in the Lismore CBD about six years ago and was well attended by parents/carers and their children. The proposal excited a number of the organisational key stakeholders and, before progressing further, we felt the need to assess parents’/carers’ reactions to it. This report presents the results from a survey of a convenience sample of parents/carers of young children.