Child Minding Service starts at Moorabbin Magistrates Court

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Child Minding Service starts at Moorabbin Magistrates Court

May 8, 2019

Julie is cuddling a six-month-old baby girl. The baby is not hers but for the moment, she is caring for her as though she was.

A qualified child care worker for over thirty years, Julie is working at Moorabbin Magistrates Court every Tuesday as part of Emerge’s new child minding service. She is supported by an Emerge volunteer.

The service began earlier this year and word is beginning to spread about the program, and the support it can provide to mothers who need to finalise legal matters but have nowhere to leave their children.

“We are set up for pre-schoolers mainly, but we have looked after babies and teenagers at this stage” Julie said.

The service operates from the court’s safe room where there is a cupboard stacked with farmyard sets, crayons and paper, cars, jigsaws, soft toys and blankets to cuddle.

The service has been funded by Impact, and is supported by the Victoria Police and the Magistrates’ Court.

The need for the court support service was identified during consultations between Emerge, Impact and the Bayside Peninsula Family Violence Partnership. Currently women attending court with young children are often unable to finalise intervention orders and other matters due to lack of childcare on the hearing date.

According to Julie, the service has already paid dividends,

“The mums who have used the service are reassured when they realise that we are qualified and are also mums. They walk through the door, and their confidence immediately grows knowing that whilst they are dealing with legal issues they do not need to worry about their children,” Julie said.

Some of the mums stay for a while after their legal matter has been dealt with, enjoying the calm of the safe room and the chance to talk normally about recipes or the weather.

“It’s a bit of time out with someone who can listen, who is not judgmental and who loves children.”

For bookings please call Marika on 03 8657 8622.

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