"Help your children spread their wings..."
The metaChild goal is optimum development for all children. Reaching such a goal depends on involving families as early as possible during the growth of the child. One approach is contacting new parents right after the birth of the child or if possible before the child is born. However, all children can benefit and particular emphasis will be placed on finding very young children that already live in or have moved into a chapter area.
It is the role of the Outreach Program to bring new members into the metaChild Organization. The Organizers work to form new Moms to Moms chapters and expand the administrative capabilities while Outreach focuses on the needs of the individual members. The Organizers recruit Chapter leaders and support them with the Baby Carriage Service and the Toybrary.
Initially new members come into contact with the Organization through the Baby Carriage Service or Community Meetings. The Moms to Moms chapter is the basic service unit of metaChild Organization and it is the chapter members that do the Baby Carriage Service and Toybrary with support from the Organizers
Once involved with the Organization members participate through a variety of programs. Providing educational materials and awareness to the mothers of newborns is accomplished through the Baby Carriage Service, which is metaChild's effort to reach newborns and their families as early as possible in the child's growth. The BCS is in two parts, preparation and delivery. Preparation includes identifying new births, contacting the families, establishing the needs of the households and setting a time for a visit.
After the family is contacted and presented with the metaChild Baby Carriage one of three results can be expected.
Active Membership As a voluteer organization, metaChild seeks new volunteers to help accomplish its goals.
Passive Membership Helping those who need help is at the heart of a volunteer organization. New families are often overwhelmed with little energy or time to consider doing more. It is these families that most need a helping hand.
No Interest Some families will not be interested in help at all. Their wishes will be respected.
It may be surprising to many parents, but most children who reach school with learning disabilities are not born with them. While the tendency to have them may be inherited, but the ability of the body to grow in response to stimulation overrides most problems related to learning disabilites.
This is not to say that inherited, traumatic or medically casued developmental disabilities can not be greatly hleped with early intervention
This is the primary benefit of the organization and the reason for its name.
While most children develop normally, most of the small number of children who have developmental issues can be helped at home without intensive professional or institutional intervention if their needs are detected early enough.
The organizers feel that most parents do not want their children to become involved with government or institutional intervention programs and resist contacting them out of concerns for privacy.
The ability of a local group to provide private assistance and give the parents the options of who and how help is gained is expected to greatly enlarge the number of children getting early intervention services.
New mothers are often in great need of free in-home child care so that they can rest and relax for a few hours every few days. This is truly "mothers helping mothers", and represents a special opportunity for volunteers to contribute to new families.
Although the knowledge of the benefits of developmental stimulation is easily available its integration into the daily lives of new families still reqiures a conscious effort. Brief introductions via television or even a high school child-development course seldom leave families equipped with more than vague ideas of what is needed.
Those who have a deeper understanding of the benefits can appreciate the tremendous loss of potential that often results from ignorance of develpmental stimulation.
This ignorance is a curse on society.
Today more than ever before, children are restricted from the developmental opportunities common in earlier times. Active outdoor play and interactive indoor play with friends have been replaced in too many cases with long hours indoors with only the television as stimulation, and with both parents working it can be difficult to know what experiences a child has had during the day