Local parents not happy about changed Early Bird program

Local parents have taken to Facebook to vent their frustration and concerns over the Murrumbidgee Local Health District’s plan to replace a parenting program in Young.

Murrumbidgee Local Health District announced it would be bringing a new parenting program to Young in place of The Early Bird Parenting Group, run by the Young Child and Family health service.

“Personally, I think that this is ridiculous and that it truly is a great disservice to our community,” Danielle Chapman said in a Facebook post.

“I was told to put my concern in writing and send it to mlhd-feedback@health.nsw.gov.au.”

It didn’t take long for other parents across the area to share their concerns about the changed program.

“I wouldn’t call that a replacement, that’s got to be a joke!” Jessica Pace said.

“This has completely missed the mark,” Erin Rumble said. “This new model fails to recognise that mum’s, dad’s and bubs need regular support and health care for longer than six weeks.

“This model may work in other places, but I also suspect these are places with doctors that have appointments available and options for other support services such as breastfeeding association groups.”

“The early bird program was more than a new parenting class,” Vivienne Hess posted. “It provided a weekly weigh in for all mothers/parents, not just new mothers/parents.

“It was a safe environment to take a newborn baby and should still be provided to all mothers/parents of the community. It is essential to measure babies growth in the early weeks of life. 

“The outline of the new program is very vague. So I too would like to understand what is it really providing as a service to the entire community?”

Ness Haines posted by “replacing a much needed service for mothers to attend in the first three months of their baby’s life, I found to be crucial, in establishing breastfeeding, routines and ensuring acceptable weight gains isn’t appropriate. Those who decide such things obviously aren’t in touch with the needs of the community”.

Others had more questions they want answered.

“So only new parents? Will all of the same services be available? There will be weighing and breastfeeding advice and getting to know fellow parents? Why is there a new program if the last one was working fine? How will it be offered? Do the new parents need to call and organize it themselves? The Early Childhood nurses used to do that. What is provided in the new program?” Local mum Katie Fischer posted.

“Also, seeing as it's a six week program does that mean you need to wait for each new one to start. So potentially your baby could be six weeks old before you get to use this service?”

Other parents were questioning if the service is only for first time parents and seconding Ms Fischer’s questions asking for answers.

Murrumbidgee Local Health District was contacted in regards to the questions asked by concerned and angry parents, however had not responded by the time of going to print.

Young parents are unhappy about changes to a parenting program.

Young parents are unhappy about changes to a parenting program.