SPACE is a programme that has mainly first time parents attending and their new-born babies. Occasionally Grandparents or other relatives also participate.
The SPACE programme provides a forum for parents to share their experiences and an opportunity to consider different perspectives on various topics.
Weekly 2 – 3 hour sessions with 12 – 15 infants and their parents include: the opportunity to meet and get to know other new parents; discussions on relevant child development and parenting topics; play sessions with appropriate equipment that supports infants learning and development; an introduction to rhymes, music and books for infants. A different discussion topic is introduced each week that is relevant to parenting and to babies' growth and learning.
SPACE sessions are available at many Playcentres and other organisations at suitable community venues throughout New Zealand.
Parents stay with their infants during the sessions and are encouraged to watch and enjoy their baby's capabilities. Sharing moments encourage a time of reflection, with parents sharing their expectations, fears and aspirations for their children. This kind of environment creates an open forum for discussions allowing parents to build on relationships and draw upon the collective knowledge within the group.
The introduction of Te Reo through waiata and whakatauki is a routine part of the SPACE programme.
Participants are invited and encouraged to share aspects of their culture with the group.
SPACE programmes are delivered by two facilitators. The combinations are either a SPACE facilitator with SPACE support person or two SPACE co-facilitators
All SPACE facilitators and support persons complete SPACE Training. Typically at least 1 facilitator has an early childhood qualification such as a Playcentre Diploma (Course 3-4) or an ECE Diploma. The second facilitator has other relevant qualifications or experience that relate to working with parents and infants (e.g. nurse, community worker, experienced parent, primary teacher, etc.).
Further information is available at: www.space.org.nz