Early Childhood Intervention Services

Parent-Child Mother Goose Program

  • The Parent-Child Mother Goose Program is a group program for parents and caregivers together with their babies and young children, focusing on the use of oral rhymes, songs, and stories together. The goals of the program include strengthening the parent-child bond and building a supportive group where otherwise isolated parents can feel comfortable. The parents gain skills and confidence, which enable them to create positive family patterns during their children’s crucial early years and give their children healthy early experiences with language and communication.

    The PCMGP, an innovative way of helping parents bond with their children, commenced in Melbourne in 2004. The program is based on the successful Canadian PCMGP. We understand the value in offering a playgroup that is all inclusive to the community and being involved with the families from as early as possible. This program is based on targeting families who may be at risk due to poor socio economic status, substance abuse or postnatal depression. We have a number of areas in the community where we are involved that have families at risk. This program has been designed to strengthen the relationship between the parent and child as well as establishing a supportive group where parents who might otherwise be isolated can feel comfortable. We started with one Parent-Child Mother Goose Program in Flemington and due to the very positive response from the maternal child health nurses and the parents at the end of 2004 we expanded the program. We are now continuing to offer the program in three community locations. It is a playgroup with a different approach requiring no toys or equipment. Teaching is aimed specifically at the parents enabling them to learn rhymes and stories that they can use at other times with their children throughout their day. The program consists of one hour teaching rhyme, song and storytelling and half an hour either side of the teaching program is time allowed for parents to get to know one another, share experiences and participate in an informal snack.

    Families may receive a weekly telephone call from the facilitators if attendance is low or there are concerns. This ensures that we keep in contact with those families who may be experiencing difficulties. For some families with children with a disability the PCMGP may be their first playgroup in the community. This is where they will feel safe, welcomed, supported, not judged and they can develop confidence to engage with other necessary services at a later stage. The facilitators in the playgroup can help parents understand their child's development which can lead to an earlier referral for other services. "In general, the facilitators have been able to spot things I didn’t see."  (Parent quote)

    This program is supported by the Waverley Auxiliary and UBC and has been since it inception and hence we are able to provide this free program to the community

    Please contact us for venues.