Location: St. Paul's Church Hall Glenageary, Adelaide Road
Times: Wednesdays from 10.00 - 12.00
Prices: € 7 for Non-Members / € 4 for Cuidiu Members (€ 25 annual fee)
PROs: coffee or tea and biscuits included; spacious facilities,
separate baby play area
CONs: no structured play, no professional staff, quite expensive
St. Paul's Church Hall, a lovely modern building with glass facade, is located at the corner of Adelaide road/Silchester road in Glenageary (just off the DART station).
The toddler group is run by Cuidiu (Irish for parenthood), which is a parent-to-parent support group run by volunteer parents and apparently a very conservative one (very into breastfeeding and that sort of thing). Nevermind.
As usual I arrived very early and must remember not to do so the next time as I had to help setting up the play area. At € 7 per session for Non-Cuidiu-Members the toddler group is quite dear, especially given the fact that there is no professional staff or structured play. Cuidiu, however, seems to be relatively popular as the place was soon filled with a good two dozens of toddlers and babies in all shapes and colours.
I like the idea of a separate baby play area and am also very fond of the tea /coffee and biscuits that are included in the price ;-).
Surprisingly enough I didn't see anyone I had met before, even though I thought I knew most new mothers in the local area. Just another evidence of Ireland's baby boom, I guess.
I got to talk to a very nice young mom at the same age as me and noticed once again that there are very few "young" mothers in my area. With the south of Dublin being a rather priviliged area, most first time mothers I met are in their midthirties, careerwise and financially sorted (and would soon be second time mothers).
Back to the toddlergroup though. Overall I enjoyed the experience and didn't feel that my money went to waste. Two hours is more than enough for a toddler to "socialize" (= fighting over toys) and with that in mind I will definitely give Cuidiu toddler group another go at some stage.
Tomorrow I'm gonna go to Barnardos toy library in Dun Laoghaire and will also share my thoughts on Fun Fitness Sandyford that I went to see today.
So, stay tuned ;-)!