An Overview of BabyBoost
BabyBoost is our carer and baby programme. During the first 1000 days of a child’s life, we have an amazing opportunity. We know for example that very young babies are particularly receptive to care-giving that stimulates and nurtures them through responsive interactions and that this promotes important development.
Carers in our area (and indeed in many areas globally) are often unaware of this important window of opportunity and greatly lack resources such as simple educational toys and books to engage with and stimulate their babies.
In 2017, in response to this need, BabyBoost was born and has developed over time to include a package lasting approximately 6 months. Carers learn through a series of structured workshops how to talk, read, play, sing, cuddle and respond to their babies aged 4-18 months. Home visits encourage them to apply and refine their learning, playgroups provide social opportunities and lots of practice and toy and book libraries allow carers to borrow age-appropriate toys and books.
We know that carers if given knowledge and support, can be powerful agents in their babies’ development. For this reason, we aim to empower, via our trained local facilitators. those who can most make the difference to their babies’ development ‘
A closer look at Babyboost and its impact.
Since we started in 2017, we have developed the programme so that it now spans about 6 months during those critical first 1000 days. We have run 13 programmes in 11 locations and we have seen carers grow in confidence and knowledge.
The coaching groups are fun filled and informative, where the key messages are promoted and practised.
The Home visits allow carers to gain confidence in their own homes and to have the opportunity to learn 1:1.
The playgroups provide experience of a wide range of educational toys and there’s lots of help on hand to model and support.
The toy and book libraries offer the much-needed resources to talk read and play.
Our Babyboost ‘graduates’ are all awarded the t-shirt which states ‘Boost development with parent power’ and comments suggest positive impact “The team taught me how to talk to my child when bathing feeding or changing“
“(there were) so many things I didn’t know as a parent like singing… I didn’t see the importance.” ,
“it taught me it’s very special to be a mother.“
“there’s nowhere to get toys besides Babyboost“
“(The playgroups meant I) could see the kinds of toys my child liked and maybe one day I could buy.“
Through BabyBoost we have found a way to make a difference to the youngest members of our community in this rural part of the Drakensberg Mountains KZN and via our fantastic BabyBoost Team and our great network of support we are creating waves of positive change.
Recently we have had our BabyBoost manual professionally published and our thanks extends to OxEd and Assessment Ltd. for sponsoring the work. The new manual will assist our local facilitators deliver the course content confidently and competently.