Little Moo’s Play Café fills a need for parents, grandparents and childminders
By Maurice Garvey
THE birth of her first child presented a crossroads for Tallaght mother Ann-Marie Shortt.
Having worked in estate sales and administration, Ann-Marie contemplated going back to the daily grind, but efforts to find a suitable crèche where she lives were unsuccessful.
After speaking to other people in the community, she identified a need for a baby and toddler play cafe.
This ultimately led to her taking the plunge six weeks ago, and establishing Little Moo’s Play Café in the St Aengus Scout Den.
Named after Ann-Marie’s own ‘little moo’ – 19-month old Mollie – the play cafe is a home-from-home environment, where parents, grandparents and childminders can supervise their children, and catch a break with a hot cuppa.
Ann-Marie has also linked in with other groups, to provide a variety of useful talks and demonstrations, with first-aid classes, health and nutrition advice, baby sign language, and baby support groups, involved on a regular basis.
“It’s been going really well – word of mouth has been great and we’re getting a good response in the community,” said Ann-Marie.
“I’m thrilled to get to do this every day, it’s a dream come true. You’re supporting a local business and a local mam, not a faceless company.
“My background is sales and admin, but my passion has always been children and holistic health and well-being.
“The play space is in the middle of the hall so that all the babies and kids can be seen by parents as they enjoy their cuppa.
No booking required just drop down and stay as long as you like.”
Another reason Ann-Marie started Little Moo’s was to provide a support group for pregnant women.
A flexible approach is another aspect of the venture, which hosted two Halloween fancy dress parties on Bank Holiday Monday.
Hours are three days a week, from 10am to 2pm, which alternates to facilitate parents.
For further information on weekly activities visit www.littlemoosplaycafe.com or check their Facebook page.