Our history is long and proud. The very first Parents Centre was established in 1952 due to increasing demand to improve on what were strict and rigid birthing practices for women, coupled with inadequate antenatal and postnatal care for parents. We have over 60 years of experience in working with parents and today have family touch-points in excess of 220,000 times per annum!
Parents Centres New Zealand Inc is operated from a dedicated National Support Centre in Mana, Wellington, supporting thousands of volunteers around the country who deliver Parents Centre programmes and support services nationally.
Our 95 Childbirth Educators are skilled facilitators who are certificated through Aoraki Polytechnic to diploma level (this diploma is a joint initiative operated by Parents Centres New Zealand Inc in conjunction with Aoraki Polytechnic).
Our education programmes begin with antenatal and childbirth education; moving after birth into several parent education programmes, focusing on all aspects of baby and toddler care, through to our renowned conscious parenting programmes which focus on effective ways of parenting. All of our programmes are based on creating an environment where children will thrive and a critical component of this is the attachments and relationships developed between parents/caregivers and their baby through the early months and years.
As we are the largest provider of childbirth support and education in New Zealand, we are particularly aware of the need to keep up with the very latest in research and to deliver timely antenatal and postnatal support to parents. We have one of the largest volunteer networks in the country, with teams working locally to meet their particular community's needs.
We are proud of the six national programmes that we run throughout our Centres nationwide. Parent education programmes aim to assist parents with the various ages and stages of their children, giving them the knowledge and skill sets to be effective.
The programmes are well supported by volunteers within each Centre as well as invited speakers who are knowledgeable about a wide variety of topics. Look out for your local Centre newsletter or visit a Centre near you for more information about parent education programmes in your area - and remember to register early to avoid missing out!
As well as antenatal (pregnancy and childbirth) education, Parents Centre’s core parent education classes include:
- Conscious Parenting - Parenting with Purpose
A programme to encourage parents and caregivers to consciously look at parenting styles and to consider how some are more effective than others. This is a six module programme.
- Conscious Parenting - Magic Moments
A programme focusing on using effective non-physical methods of discipline and encouraging parents and caregivers to build strong and caring relationships with their children, while giving clear boundaries. This is a three module programme.
- Baby and You
A programme covering the exciting yet challenging early months of parenthood; feeding and sleeping, infant care and challenges, baby massage and much more.
- Moving and Munching
A programme which explores safety-proofing in the home, intellectual and social development, solids, healthy attitudes to food and much more.
- Music and Movement
A fun, interactive and developmentally stimulating programme for little ones and their parent or caregiver.
- Tinies to Tots
A programme which includes the introduction of play and how it stimulates learning, a focus on keeping your baby safe, introduction of new foods, prevention of tooth decay and much more.
- Return to Work
A programme relevant for those parents who might have been at home for some time caring for family and are now considering re-entering the paid workforce.
One-off parenting sessions
Many of our Centres also offer one-off parenting sessions, such as:
- toilet training
- choking and CPR
- natural fertility
- sessions for dads
- child development (including the renowned Brainwave Trust seminars)
These sessions vary throughout the Centres and are dependent on local needs and requests. Taking advantage of these programmes will enhance parenting skills and give you valuable support and information. Contact your local Centre to find out their timetable of upcoming events.
All of our Conscious Parenting and one-off parenting classes are small, relaxed, fun, inclusive, informative and supportive. For detailed information on any of these classes, please visit http://www.parentscentre.org.nz/parenteducation/default.asp
But we offer so much more than education programmes! We also offer crucial support networks at a time when you need it most; throughout the exciting yet uncertain months of pregnancy and the early months and years of becoming a parent.
Our 50 Centres deliver support to parents at all stages throughout the postnatal and antenatal periods. Examples of support include: childbirth, breastfeeding, child development, infant sleep, infant feeding, toy libraries, playgroups, crèches, special needs, SUDI (or sudden unexpected death), teenage parents, miscarriage support, parents in prison.