CARERS SOCIALISING & BORROWING SESSION

Who is it for?

  • This session is for carers of children with a disability or additional needs whose family may be unable to join our normal borrowing sessions. Carers includes parents, grandparents and other support people who are in an unpaid caring role. Carers are welcome to bring their child as well as other siblings.

  • No formal diagnosis for your child is required to join, as we understand there are minimal support services available during the early stages of diagnosis.

  • Therapists, support workers and other professionals are also welcome to visit these sessions.

When is the session?

  • Drop in anytime between 10am and 12.30pm on Wednesdays, weekly during school terms. There’s no need to book, and there’s no cost involved. Stay as long as you wish, even the whole session time.

  • We have a social story online for you to use before you come in to the Toy Library. This can be helpful to go through with your child to explain what a Toy Library is, and what will happen during the session.

Where is the session?

  • Maroondah Toy Library, 35-39 Tortice Drive, Ringwood North. Contact additionalneeds@maroondahtoylibrary.org.au for more details.

  • We have modified our space especially for our carers session. We have an open indoor play area with a single door entry and exit that can be closed, a quiet calming space and an enclosed outdoor yard for play.

  • Bathroom facilities are onsite, including a disabled toilet and baby change facility.

What happens at a session?

  • SOCIALISE and BORROW, whilst the kids are happy PLAYING.

  • Once you arrive, your child can play with one of the toys we’ve set up for the session. Our play facilitator is there to help you find something to entertain your child that keeps them happy, and you can sit back and grab a drink and morning tea. This gives you a chance to meet and chat to other carers in your local community.

  • Feel free to also take different toys off the shelf, play with them, and return them when you’re done.

  • Talk to us if there are specific play activities you would like to see, or that would be helpful to support your child’s goals. We understand finding the time and right equipment to practice skills your child is learning can be difficult, and we are happy to help. We are open and flexible to making this session what you need it to be.

  • Sign up for a free 3 month carer’s membership (no volunteer requirement). We’ll simply ask you for a few details to keep in contact with you, and to know what toys and support you may need with using our service. You are free to borrow at our Wednesday sessions, or during any of our normal opening times

  • Ask for toy recommendations for borrowing to match your child’s age, their interests and developmental goals.

  • We have lots of support resources to help you:

o   Our developmental icons explain how each toy can support your child’s learning and therapy goals.
o   We have guides to help you pick toys for key skills such as self-help, communication and social/emotional support.
o   Our sensory friendly toys and sensory needs booklet are helpful for finding suitable toys for children with a sensory disability.
​o   Our community guide can help you find other support available in the local and wider community.

  • If you really love a toy we’ve set up for the session, you can always pack it up and take it with you.

  • We have available for use a large ‘Finish’ cloth for when it’s time to pack up. We also have smaller ‘Finish’ bags for sale as a fundraiser for our program.

  • We can help you carry out toys to your car so you can walk with your child.

  • We ask you to check over the toys at home to see all the pieces are there before you return them. At our Wednesday session, pass returns to our Toy Library Coordinator, and she will check them and return them to the shelf whilst your child plays and you can spend time talking with us and meeting other carers.

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Parkwood Community Hub, 35-39 Tortice Dr, Ringwood North VIC 3134, Australia