Location: Dun Laoghaire Evangelical Church,
Lower Glenageary Road
Times: Tuesdays from 10.30 to 12
Prices: € 2 per session (voluntary contribution)
PROs: caring staff and volunteers, supervised play
CONs: Can't think of anything negative really...
On Tuesday we went to check out Squeals on Wheels at Dun Laoghaire Evangelical Church, a toddler group that unlike the ones we've been to before, is run by the church itself (and of course a number of volunteers).
The church is based at Lower Glenageary Road, not far from the People's Park and the centre of Dun Laoghaire.
To my relief, they finally have taken off that terrible banner claiming that "There is hope...Dun Laoghaire Evangelical Church".
I guess, in a country full of Catholics it can easily be taken the wrong way (or perhaps the right one?!?). Anyway, thankfully it's gone now!
As I arrived (too early again), I received a warm welcome by Sally, the lady that runs the group, and her two volunteers Myrtle and 90-year-old (!) June who's in charge of tea and biscuits.
On that note I should mention that if you are planning to go there, you better give them a ring prior to your visit. Apparently, they don't always have enough space for everyone. Taken, that they put a lot of effort into getting to know everyone and supervising the children, it certainly sounds plausible. I also prefer small groups to completely crammed ones. My feeling, however, was that this can't be the only reason and perhaps they want to inspect their new arrivals before they decide, whether you can come regularly or not. I can be completely wrong though! And saying that, I don't want to put anyone off either.
Both of us were really comfortable and well looked after. On my previous visits to toddler groups, I sometimes felt that as a new girl it was quite hard to get talking to other parents. But this time, I didn't get that feeling at all and I don't think it was only due to the fact that I got talking to another newcomer.
The fact that this group is a religiously motivated one can seem strange at first when you aren't used to that sort of thing (i.e. the children's sing-along that mentions God). Thanks to their Christian motivation though, no one had to feel left out and I would definitely recommend Squeals on Wheels to you.
Aviva and I have definitely found the two toddler groups we feel most comfortable with :-).