Guardian Tempe Host Weekend Playdate for Families
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Last Saturday, Guardian Tempe opened up their outdoor space for an afternoon playdate of relaxed family fun and connection.
Centre Manager, Jilly-Anne, shares the inspiration behind the event and what the response has been since.
“The playdate came about because we’ve had a lot of new families recently join our service,” explains Jilly-Anne.
“There’s also a few families in our community who don’t have any of their family members in the area, so we thought hosting an event would be a wonderful way for everyone to make connections with their fellow Guardian families.”
Through a series of Storypark posts, Jilly-Anne was able to organise a date and time to accomodate more of the families, thanks to the feedback provided on the app.
“We have a really interactive way of using Storypark, regularly seeking feedback and suggestions from families through it,” shares Jilly-Anne.
“Since we hosted the event, we’ve had families ask for it to be held on a regular basis. We’re planning to have our next one in February.”
The event was a laid-back playdate, designed for families to come into the centre after hours and mingle, without the rush of drop off and pick up around work and weekday commitments.
“Drop off and pick up can be a busy time, especially when so many families are going to work afterwards,” says Jilly-Anne.
“We realise that it’s not the easiest way to meet new people, so we wanted to choose a time that suited everyone. This was the first outside hours sessions that we’ve had targeted at adults, and it went really well.”
On Saturday afternoon, Jilly-Anne opened the centre’s outdoor space and was delighted to see so many families attend and make new connections.
“The event was designed to support our families and help them feel like a part of our community,” shares Jilly-Anne.
“We’ve had several families compliment us in the past for our community events, and share that they’ve stayed on at the centre because they’ve become close friends with other families here.”
“That’s what I want for all of our families, to feel that sense of community, particularly if they don’t have family support in their area.”
Attendees included children who caught up with their friends, younger siblings that are yet to attend the centre, and parents and carers who were able to participate thanks to the weekend schedule.
“One of the dads took a phone call during the event and said ‘I can’t talk to you right now, I’m at childcare with my family’. That’s exactly what it was supposed to be, a lovely time for families to be together,” shares Jilly-Anne.
“Although Tempe is a big centre, I want it to have a real community feel. We have amazing community support and we want to be able to continue and strengthen that through events such as this one.”
“It’s my dream for the families to become a united community so that they’ve got that support. Not just from us, but from one another.”
Jilly-Anne also shared that event was particularly special to her, as she was able to take off her Centre Manager hat momentarily and get to know the families on a more social level.
“It was a really lovely relaxed opportunity for me to chat with families, in a way that I don’t normally get to do,” says Jilly-Anne.
“The majority of my interactions with families are usually in relation to the care and education of their children. It was nice to chat about normal, everyday things in our lives.”
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