Largest Child And Family Expo In Hunter Returns

Lake Macquarie City Council

(From left to right) Samantha Neal with 3 year old son Harrison Neal and 1 year old Eddie Tuckerman with mum Kate Tuckerman.jpg

Talks with child development experts, superhero appearances and reptile shows are just some of what’s on offer at this year’s You’re Kidding Me Expo.

The weeklong event which runs from Monday 13 to Friday 17 May connects families with local services, helping parents understand child development and explore childcare options and resources.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said she was excited to see the expo, now in its 11th year, return to Charlestown Square.

“We’re really proud to host an event like this which gives all families free access to valuable parenting resources,” she said.

“When families are connected and supported in their community, they flourish.”

Monday 13 May will focus on new parents, with Paediatric Nurse Penny Blunden from healthcare advice organisation Sick Happens talking about how to manage fevers, the winter flu and seasonal hits.

“With winter coming up it will be a fantastic opportunity for parents of newborns to learn how to manage sickness at home, understand the red flags and know without hesitation when it’s time to seek medical attention.”

This year will be Penny’s second time at the You’re Kidding Me expo.

“We are so lucky to have amazing services at our fingertips, and quite often parents simply don’t know they exist,” she said.

“The You’re Kidding Me expo closes that gap between parents and helpful businesses.”

Boutique baby store Itti Bitti will also be on hand to showcase the benefits of reusable nappies.

Sleep experts will share their wisdom, giving tips and tricks on the best sleep environments and practices.

A program showing what playgroups, music classes, family yoga and childcare options are available over the next 12 months will also be on offer.

Throughout the rest of the week, therapists in speech, motor skills, mental health and more will be on site to talk through any red flags children may be showing and give advice on how parents can support them at home.

Lake Macquarie City Council Coordinator Social and Community Planning Jessica Salvador said there would also be a range of activities to entertain kids aged up to eight.

“Kids will be able to meet their favourite superheroes on Wednesday 15 and Friday 17 May at 10am,” she said.

“Wetlands on Wheels will show off their best reptiles from 10am on Tuesday 14 and Thursday 16 May.”

“Families can also engage in a range of activities from music, yoga, playgroups and more.”

Samantha Neal, mother of three-year-old Harrison and three-month-old Isla, said she was looking forward to connecting with valuable service providers at the You’re Kidding Me expo.

“The presentations are invaluable,” she said.

“I attend the expo yearly as the needs of my children change and I need different supports.”

“As a parent it can feel overwhelming trying to figure out who to get in contact with when concerns arise. The expo allows services to be in the one spot at the same time – plus my children can join in with the activities.”

/Public Release. View in full here.