WITH 20 years training in the childcare industry Melinda Robertson just loves all things to do with children.
But it was an idea she had as a wedding guest that is helping her Shoalhaven business carve out a niche market.
Daisy Care Nanny Agency, which she started just three years ago with her sister Richelle, has just booked its 80th wedding crèche.
Melinda said she had been to too many weddings where children cried throughout the service and distracted their parents from the ceremony.
She even saw a wedding cake tipped over by a little one with a sweet tooth that couldn’t wait.
The simple idea of providing childcare at weddings has caught on like wildfire.
While parents are enjoying themselves, the children can be playing games, reading stories and doing craft activities nearby.
The agency now employs 50 trained carers who provide a range of nanny and babysitting services.
As a new business owner, who was taking “baby steps”, Melinda was attracted to the first Shoalhaven Baby and Toddler Expo held in 2010.
“It’s great to catch up with others in the industry and see what they’re doing, and also to meet so many local families,” Melinda said.
“We have a play area set up, where the kids can take time out as well. They can play with some blocks or play dough or do some drawing. It’s a bit of a pit stop for the kids along the way.
“There are so many products and services available locally. Many of these small businesses are run by mothers with small children and it’s always nice to see familiar faces.”
Now in its third year, and rebranded as the Zero2Nine Bub&Kidz Expo, the event moves to a bigger site at the UOW Shoalhaven Campus at West Nowra, and will be held on Sunday, May 5 from 10am-2pm.
The brainchild of local mum Carla Balsar, this year the baton has been handed over to the South Coast Register/Shoalhaven and Nowra News to run the event.
Carla first started the expo out of a desire to give parents and carers of the Shoalhaven an opportunity to learn about the services and products available locally.
“I also wanted to give the talented and creative businesses of the Shoalhaven a chance to show off,” she said.
A day of family fun is planned with attractions to include face painting, balloon art, baby farm animals petting area, story-telling, craft activities, physie demonstrations, plus presentations on sleep and settling along with other topics relevant to parents.
A new feature of this year’s expo will be the launch of the Zero2Nine magazine, which showcases local information about parenting.
Expo co-ordinator Rose Blyth said the magazine was a unique marketing opportunity for local businesses wishing to inform families with young children about their products and services.
Copies of Zero2Nine are distributed to preschools, family day care centres, pharmacies, the Defence Housing Association, kindergartens, medical centres and libraries as well as to all advertisers.
Bookings for advertising space in the magazine are now being taken with packages available for businesses also participating in the expo.
Please call Rose on 4421 9123 to discuss your involvement in Shoalhaven’s only uniquely local parenting publication and the Zero2Nine Bub&Kidz Expo.