Massage and movement are essential in babies and young children, stimulating the senses which promotes bonding and attachment, a sense of love, acceptance, respect and trust. Babies learn the most from touch as a sense and parents gain increased confidence in their parenting – it provides a time to share and increases verbal and non-verbal communication.
 
Through Sport Waikato’s new way of working, a professional learning day in Infant Massage and Infant & Toddler Movement was recently held with Plunket facilitators from around the north island.
 
Traditionally delivered directly to parents for over 30 years, this training was presented to more than 20 Plunket Parenting facilitators and Community Service Coordinators from around the Waikato region, as well as Northland and Wellington.
 
Ensuring that facilitators were upskilled in order to deliver the training to their parents through their current sessions will ensure a far wider reach, giving facilitators the ability to engage with and spread the knowledge to parents - a far more sustainable model than the previous method of delivering one on one to parents.
 

The day was well received by facilitators with most saying they will now be incorporating the baby massage and movement into their regular sessions.
 
“Honestly the information that came out of the session was mind blowing, even though we teach a lot of what we were taught, it was understanding the why and the long term effects. I just loved it and so did my team,” said Sarah McCracken from Wellington. 
 
The workshop was a first step in the new way of working for Sport Waikato in order to reach a greater audience, and to guide, support and pass on the knowledge to those working directly with parents. 
 
Plunket Parent Education Coordinator Debbie Adamson said the attendees all went away with an enriched knowledge of these topics and have begun to weave this into their own presentations to parents.
 
“Facilitators were energised and found new enthusiasm for their roles and the way they present these topics. We can now spread the message about these topics that are vital to development and learning much wider. They also welcomed the rare opportunity to come together,” Debbie said. 
 
Resources were provided to all attendees, and Sport Waikato will continue to support the facilitators through co-delivery and by working alongside them until they feel comfortable delivering the workshops on their own.
 

Plunket facilitators upskilled to deliver to parents

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