Two-hour carnival in Cundletown to provide connection, education and support to local families

Numerous craft activities will be set up for children to enjoy in the grounds of Cundletown Uniting Church between 5pm and 7pm on Friday, February 2.
Numerous craft activities will be set up for children to enjoy in the grounds of Cundletown Uniting Church between 5pm and 7pm on Friday, February 2.

A pop-up carnival will hit Cundletown tomorrow for two hours to deliver fun activities for kids and access to support services for parents.

It’s after school between 5pm and 7pm on Friday, February 2 in the grounds of Cundletown Uniting Church and staff from Communities for Children partner, Uniting, will set up a jumping castle, fill tables with craft activities, run games, teach balloon making, cook popcorn and share fairy floss. It’s a welcome ‘back to the new school year’ celebration as well as a community connection event – a way to let parents know about numerous parenting support services while the children are being entertained.

The timing of the pop-up carnival is to give parents access to additional support during the particularly stressful and challenging time of children going back to school, says Bree Katsamangos, program manager for Communities for Children with Mission Australia.

The transition to school is an exciting time, but it can also be a period of potential challenge and stress for children and families.

“The transition to school is an exciting time, but it can also be a period of potential challenge and stress for children and families. Both have to negotiate new environments, new learning expectations, rules and routines, issues around social status and identity, new relationships and more. This can be particularly challenging for parents whose own school experience was less than positive.”

She says she experienced this tricky transition firsthand when her little boy started school last year and it gave her a different insight into the work she does with families.

"It certainly did give me a new understanding, emphasising for me the challenges of 'letting your child go', the thrill of seeing them become independent, being surprised by their capacity for learning and recognising how important our role is as parents in supporting that. All parents should be able to approach this transition with confidence and I'm proud CfC supports families to do that.

Bree Katsamangos, program manager for Communities for Children with Mission Australia, and her son, Will on his first day at school.

Bree Katsamangos, program manager for Communities for Children with Mission Australia, and her son, Will on his first day at school.

“Mission Australia Taree is the facilitating partner for Communities for Children and we work with a range of community partner organisations to design and deliver a suite of programs which support vulnerable children and families. A key focus area for CfC is supporting children and families to make a successful transition to school.

“Research tells us that parenting practices and the quality of the parent-child relationship have implications for children's academic and social competence, behaviour in their early years at school, as well as for longer term success and achievement.

“Providing information and support to parents and carers and helping them to build positive relationships with schools is a key focus for CfC, building on the idea that enhanced parent confidence leads to increased confidence in children.”

The event is an opportunity for parents to spend quality time with their children, to build community connections and to learn about the range of services Uniting and Communities for Children offer in supporting families to make a successful school transition and to parent with confidence.

Bree Katsamangos

Bree urges parents to attend the event and describes it as “an opportunity for parents to spend quality time with their children, to build community connections and to learn about the range of services Uniting and Communities for Children offer in supporting families to make a successful school transition and to parent with confidence.”

“Parenting is one of, if not the most challenging roles in life and it’s something we don’t receive any training in. Professionals in the work place continually engage in learning and professional development but it’s not something we generally apply to parenting.

“Services like Uniting, deliver a range of parenting programs to support parents from the antenatal period right through to early adolescence. These programs are a great way to learn new skills, to meet other parents and build social networks that make the parenting journey easier and more enjoyable.”