It takes a village to raise a child. For parents Jana and Pavel, whose family live overseas, Bub Hub provides a sense of community, parenting support and care as they navigate the world with their young son, Oliver.
Like many curious toddlers, eleven-month-old Oliver crawls fast and gets into everything. Parents Jana and Pavel have made their small apartment as safe as possible, but it’s still vital they’re nearby as little Oliver explores and learns. Sometimes that means following Oliver around from room to room like a wicket keeper always primed to catch, and sometimes it means explaining to well-meaning friends how impossibly un-baby-proof their homes are! Each week at Bub Hub, though, they get to relax.
A few months ago, Pavel noticed Oliver trying to communicate with another little baby. What Oliver didn’t realise, though, was the other baby gesturing excitedly back at him… was his own reflection! After COVID lockdowns and normal apartment living, Oliver’s parents realised it was time to get Oliver to socialise – with more than just his smiling double in the mirror.
Holdsworth’s Bub Hub is a play-based learning session for newborns to walkers run by a qualified support worker at Holdsworth in Woollahra three times a week. Lucky Oliver often gets to go two times a week – once with each parent. Dad Pavel likes that the children are grouped according to basic developmental milestones, so unlike a play centre or playground, a much more advanced child won’t bowl over little Oliver while he’s mastering the art of sitting up by himself. Mum Jana likes the flexibility of being able to drop in during sessions rather than arrive at a particular time, because, as many parents out there know, some days just don’t go to plan.
For new parents like Jana and Pavel whose families are based mostly on the other side of the world, Bub Hub, and the Family Services teams expertise, provides peace of mind.
“Bub Hub is important for people who don’t have family here,” says Pavel. “When we have a question, we can of course call Mum overseas, but having someone in real life to talk to is really nice.”
Jana shares how far Oliver has come since they started at Bub Hub:
“He didn’t sit on his own and could see him trying, but I wondered ‘should I try helping?’ but it’s hard to know what to do. Then Annie at Bub Hub encouraged me and showed me how, and he got it quickly. He also crawled a funny way on his tummy. It was Annie who showed me how to tuck his knees up to make it easy, and now he’s crawling so well.”
One of the other benefits Jana has noticed about Bub Hub is the social connection. It’s only been a few months of attending, but she’s already fallen into familiar conversations with other parents who she’s glad to see each time she arrives, and she can catch up while Oliver explores happily in a safe environment. In fact, she’s recently recommended Bub Hub to other friends of hers with children Oliver’s age.
“For us, it’s about setting him up for the future,” Pavel says about Oliver’s time at Bub Hub. “Helping him learn that people are generally nice.”
Do you have young children and are looking to connect with other parents while your little ones play safely? Like Pavel and Jana, are your extended family living further away and you need to build your community as you raise young ones?
See our Bub Hub schedule and book in now to join us!