Mia-Rose Healey gets into the beat with mum Chantelle Healey (left) during music therapy program Sing & Grow.
Mia-Rose Healey gets into the beat with mum Chantelle Healey (left) during music therapy program Sing & Grow. Rob Williams

TAFE hits right note with parents

A NEWLY-launched Bremer TAFE program is music to the ears of a group of young Ipswich mums and their children.

Recently, participants took part in Sing & Grow, a music therapy program that helps parents tune in to positive parenting techniques.

Sing & Grow Queensland director Lorna Sherwin said the classes were a fun-filled bonding session for parents and their children.

Ms Sherwin said the program was an accessible, enjoyable way of learning about positive parenting, which used percussion instruments, ribbons, balls and parachutes, along with singing songs.

“Sing & Grow increases positive interactions between parents and their children, generates social support networks and builds parents’ confidence to use music as play at home,” Ms Sherwin said.

The group of 11 young mothers and their children are taking part in the Studying, Training and Effective Parenting Program (STEPP), an initiative designed to give young pregnant and parenting mothers a pathway back to education while remaining near their children.

STEPP provides a one-stop-shop for young women looking to continue their education by combining study, parenting skills workshops, with child-care services at TAFE’s purpose-built care facility.

After completing the program, participants are given credits towards a Certificate III in Children’s Services, which they are able to continue into semester two through Bremer TAFE.

Bremer TAFE youth initiatives co-ordinator Liza Mogensen said women were attracted to the program because it connected them with others in similar situations.

“Being young mothers, many of our participants feel intimidated by returning to traditional education settings, like high school,” Ms Mogensen said.

“STEPP provides them with a flexible, supportive environment where they don’t feel like they’re being judged.

“It’s also an excellent way to build the support networks which are so important in the early stages of motherhood, particularly when you are a teenager or young adult.”

For 17-year-old Chantelle Healey, the program allowed her to spend valuable bonding time with her six-month-old daughter Mia-Rose, while taking steps toward a career in childcare at the same time.



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