Want to know more about our Classes for Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers?
1. What is Gymbaroo?
“Well to be honest, when you strip it all down, when you take away the fun children are having, when you take away the development benefits for the children – GymbaROO is really about parent/carer education.” (Margaret Sasse: Founder of GymbaROO) Our classes for babies, toddler programs and school readiness groups are all designed to help parents give their child the best start to life!
Our program for babies from birth to twelve months is known as BabyROO and our free online 12 part series for parents and babies (birth – crawling) is called the Active Babies Smart Kids: BabyROO series.
GymbaROO has been providing quality neuro-developmental programs for babies and children from birth to five years and their parents for over thirty years and is indisputably Australia’s most popular and successful parent-child education program. Our programs come highly recommended by professionals and our GymbaROO classes are enjoyed by over 70,000 babies, children and parents in Australia and worldwide.
2. Gymbaroo is not:
A playgroup/ mother’s group/ day-care facility etc, where children are left to their own devices, under a somewhat controlled environment.
It is a time where you as a parent/carer have one-on-one time together with your child doing activities and learning new skills, it just happens to be that other parents/carers and their children are in the same environment and learning with you.
3. Why attend Gymbaroo?
The GymbaROO program is backed by years of research into child development. Our developmental philosophy is based on the work of many experts who have determined the important role that milestone progression plays in development, as well as our own 30+ years of experience of working with babies and children. Read the research here
What babies and children really need are parent, carers and teachers who understand neuro-development and act on this knowledge
GymbaROO stands out as being the ONLY parent-child program in the world that specialises in research-based, scientifically rational, neuro-developmental, fun learning environments for babies to school aged children and their parents. It is also the only program in the world that has integrated key developmental activities, essential for complete development in each age and stage of development, into a comprehensive and all-encompassing program.
4. Why do parents/carers attend?
Unlike other formal child development programs, GymbaROO appreciates the important role that parents play in their child’s early development and we pride ourselves on delivering to our parents the best and most up to date information regarding the importance of the early years to later development and learning. At GymbaROO, parents learn how to help their children maximise learning potential through fun, developmentally appropriate activities.
5. How long are the classes?
Classes are 45 minutes long or 60 minutes for Level 8 School Readiness classes.
6. How much does it cost?
While the potential benefits for your child are enormous the cost of our program is not.
New enrolments are $220 per term ($22 per week). There are also discounts for siblings ($210 per term) and Yearly or Semester enrolments. Payment options are by credit card, EFTpos, cash or cheque on enrolment. Direct debits can be arranged for weekly payment if preferred.
7. What does this include?
Fees include GST, insurance and public liability, the use of specially designed equipment, fully air-conditioned venue, all your Gymbaroo music for the term, Visualisation Book and weekly words and pictures, First Steps Magazine, Child Development Handouts, name bib and most importantly parent/carer education and knowledge of neuro physiological development.
8. What happens during a class?
Half the class is spent with sensory activities, music, dance, instruments and parachutes, featuring strength exercises and gross or fine motor development. The remainder of the class is “equipment time” for the children to practice their “motor” skills on specially designed equipment.
9. Can anyone join in?
Only children who have enrolled may participate.
Parents/Carers are encouraged to make alternate arrangements for siblings, as the classes are age/development appropriate and the program is designed for 45 minutes of one-on-one time between you and your child. This is however a child friendly environment and if alternate arrangements cannot be made please discuss this with us and we will do our best to accommodate everyone’s needs.
10. What happens if I miss a class?
Children and their parents/carers are not to attend the centre if they are unwell. There are many valid reasons (illness, travel, birth of new baby) for which people miss a class, and therefore there is a system in place whereby you can do a make-up class. We would be happy to facilitate rescheduling your time, but please be aware that make-up classes do have some conditions:
- Make-ups can only be done:
- in the term that you are booked in, and are not transferable to other terms for insurance and logistics reasons
- if there is space available in other classes
- you must advise the centre of your absence prior to your session time
11. Do I have to wait until the start of a term?
No, the program has been designed so that you can join at anytime and you will not lose out on any information as repetition occurs in the form of differing activities and themes. Classes for babies are available from the time your baby is 6 weeks of age and we recommend you joining us at this time to get the maximum benefit from the infant and toddler classes. Of course, if your child is older than 6 weeks you can join the program in any week.
12. How do I enrol?
The earlier you start GymbaROO, the more of a difference you can make to your child’s future learning ability. It is in these first years of life that the foundations for later learning, social and emotional health and success are laid. Healthy brain development begins before birth and the foundations for future learning skills are naturally laid in the first five years.
13. How many children in a class?
We have from 10-12 children in a class.
14. What qualifications does the teacher have?
GymbaROO requires teachers to have completed a three year tertiary qualification before being accepted to study neuro-physiological development and be trained as a GymbaROO teacher. Teachers are expected to participate in regular professional development and undertake ongoing study in neuro-physiological development of babies and children. Assistants are also expected to understand the fundamental rationale underpinning GymbaROO’s program and have sufficient understanding of neuro-physiological development to be able to contribute meaningfully to the session.
15. How long has Gymbaroo been operating?
Our centre has been operating for 23 years and the Gymbaroo Business has been operating for over 30 years.
16. What sort of results have been seen in children who previously went through the Gymbaroo program?
A study undertaken by Liz Duguid, a Scottish Early Childhood Educator who came to Australia on a Churchill Scholarship reported that children who had attended GymbaROO were far more likely to engage in physical education activities in middle childhood (6 – 12 years) than children of the general population.
A more recent pilot study undertaken in six low SES schools in Victoria, in which the GymbaROO movement program was implemented in years 1 – 4 showed statistically significant improvements in the reading and comprehension ability of children who had reading/learning difficulties when they participated in the movement program, in comparison to those learning challenged children who only engaged in “literacy” programs. Teachers also reported improvements in concentration, behavior, socialisation skills, attention and general improvements in mood and self esteem. Even though the research program has been completed many of the teachers have continued it on their classrooms as it made teaching the children so much easier and more enjoyable.
17. Why is the structure of the Gymbaroo program so important?
There has been a lot of discussion about the importance of play in a child’s development, and there is no doubt that a child learns through play. Unfortunately, the idea of play seems to bring with it the connotation that it is free from structure and that the best form of play is where a child is allowed to just ‘run free’. While a degree of unstructured play IS important to the developing imagination and thinking skills, it must be balanced with opportunities to engage in play that encourages the child to engage in the types of play that they otherwise would not be exposed to, or avoid (because they feel inadequate in that skill – therefore there should be flag in the parents mind when they see that occurring.
As mentioned above modern life means certain natural stimuli required to maximise natural development are suppressed or over exaggerated and structured play activities are required to re-balance development. The GymbaROO program runs for 45 minutes once a week. Not a long period, but long enough to give children and parents lots of ideas about the types of activities that are both fun and important for development. Many children take these ideas home with them and engage in many hours of unstructured play as they instruct teddy on playing musical instruments for example, or they re-enact the very activities that help their development progress. Most of the activities we do at GymbaROO can be replicated at home for little or no cost. The structure also enables children to learn a routine – and they love routine! We get into SO much trouble from the two year olds if the Treasure Bag is forgotten!!
18. I have twins, triplets or more can I still join in?
If you have twins, triplets, or even quads, we would love to be able to have you come along, so please call our centre to see how “one on one time” might be able to be orchestrated. Sometimes we may require you to bring a “helper” for each additional child, it depends on individual circumstances, an assistant or teacher may be able to help with another child. We cannot guarantee you and your children can be accommodated but will generally try our hardest, and frequently find a way, but they do have to be mindful of Occupational Health and Safety (limits what can be done) and other practical reasons.
19. Can we change our class once we have enrolled?
Subject to availability, you are welcome to change your class time and day anytime during your enrolment. This is sometimes needed when children change their sleep patterns or parents change working commitments. Classes for babies, toddlers and preschoolers run over six days a week so there’s always a suitable option.