If you are looking for a fun, relaxed, creative playgroup to bring your toddler along to, then CeeJay's could be your dream come true. Set in the lovely grounds of Swallows and Amazons at Turf City, coordinator Cathy West says she feels parents need somewhere they can bring their toddlers so they can "interact, explore, play and have fun together in a relaxed, safe, supportive and stimulating environment".
CeeJay's is certainly providing all these things. I tagged along this week and found 7 very happy toddlers and mums enjoying the activities. Cathy doesn't want the sessions to be too structured, with too many rules, but she does include such things as story time and circle time with interactive songs and games. New elements will be introduced every week, and some regular ones repeated so the children get a sense of the continuity.
Outdoor play is incorporated into the morning to make use of the wonderful marquee and shady tree in the grounds. Healthy snacks are provided at the picnic table outside and this is a great opportunity for the parents to chat.
Cathy, who is from Australia and has extensive experience as an early childhood teacher, originally envisioned the playgroup for toddlers old enough to be walking. But a couple of 10 month olds joined this session and they had lots of fun. It is a great opportunity for the kids to begin to socialise with other children and explore their environment.
Fees are $300 for a 10 week term. Drop in rates are $35 per session. Please call 2-7 days before hand to enquire if there are any spaces available for the next session, as places cannot be guaranteed for drop in. At the moment the playgroup is being held every Tuesday morning from 9am- 10.30am. More sessions may be added if the group gets too big.
Cathy would also like to start a session for domestic helpers. She says this would "help to empower them with language and behaviour management strategies (positive practise) and help equip them with ideas and songs. It will also be a nice outlet for the helpers - a chance to mingle with others from their own countries as well as to promote bonding with the child in their care."
200 Turf Club Road