Contest Creche!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Di, Apr 19, 2006.


Would a contest creche be useful?

  1. I have children and would use a creche

    5 vote(s)
  2. I have children and wouldn't use a creche

    1 vote(s)
  3. I don't have children/mine are too old but think a creche would be a good idea

    23 vote(s)
  4. Kids at contests? Na, they don't bother me.

    8 vote(s)
  1. Di

    Di Active Member

    Having just raised this matter as a joke elsewhere, I thought "hmm what a good idea".

    Would a creche be of help to all those playing moms and dads?

    Having "been there, done that, got the t-shirt" with taking babies/young children to contests, I'm wondering how many people would find it useful to have a creche where children can be left in safe hands while mom and/or dad go and play or listen.

    Obviously, raising such a facility would have its problems to overcome, but COULD they be overcome and COULD it be done? I'll start the ball rolling with some of the obstacles.

    Provision of Police-checked carers
    Safe room/toilets/changing faciliites
    Entertainment facilities - toys/games/books etc.

    Here's one possible answer to solve all of the above. :)

    Contest organisers "hire" the services of a local nursery/day care centre and sub-hire to contest goers.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2006
  2. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    An obvious problem to me would be the uncertainty that a 'draw' brings at a contest. Many bands rehearse away from the venue, and may not even get to the venue until they're due to play - meaning they'd have had to sort babysitters out beforehand, or lug the young'uns around with them all day until they got to the venue!

    Sounds a good idea at face value Di, but logistics to me, dictate that it's simply not do-able.
  3. cookie2

    cookie2 Member

    I'm sure my husband would absolutely love it - wife and baby away for the day at a band contest.

    On a serious note, don't know about leaving her somewhere that I hadn't been able to check out beforehand.:-?
  4. chrisvine01

    chrisvine01 New Member

    I took my son to his first contest when he was 4 weeks old - the venue (Nottingham) wouldn't even let me bring his pram in, the wheels had to stay downstairs whilst we carried the detachable carrycot around! I had to find a vacant ladies toilet so that I could feed him in private & a "spare" band follower to mind him whilst I went on stage. After that grandparents usually offered to have him for the day. However when he was about 14months old they were unable to have him & we had to take him with us - it certainly solved the problem of "contest nerves", just getting on the stage with the right instrument & music was a result! In the end we solved the problem by teaching him to play - 20 years later all 3 of us played on the same contest stage at this year's Area! If we had more than the one child I am sure I would have had to give up playing for a while.
    I think a creche would be a wonderful idea - maybe local colleges could allow their childcare students (with supervision) practice their skills? I certainly would have been pleased to pay for it.
  5. Sorry Chris - didn't realise that you were still logged in & that I was using your User Name! Never mind, you are used to your Mum embarrassing you!
    After reading the above posts I agree with what you say, & obviously it would be easier running a creche at the smaller contests (not one where there are 24 bands in the section!).
  6. Di

    Di Active Member

    Good point. Most bands usually have a number of supporters with them, be it husbands/wifes/brothers/sisters of players. I've found sometimes that whilst these are happy to watch the children while we're practicing, but would rather not be responsible for them in the contest hall. If you're happy to have the kids with you for the day rather than leaving them at home with babysitters/family for a whole day, then they could at least be taken care of during the crucial time of registration and playing, leaving you carefree to concretrate on the job in hand.

    So if you're checking someone out, what are you looking for? How about if the organiser could show you copies of all the relevant certificates of safety/compliance ?

    I'll try and keep a little dignity by not telling you what I went through when Vicki was just 10 days old and we played 24th out of 25 at the area in Nottingham. :rolleyes:

    Grandparents are a godsend aren't they. I'm very lucky to have wonderful parents who have looked after our kids, both AT contests and keeping them at home for the day so we can have a child free day.

    Haha, ditto. Now its the kids on stage and they need someone to look after the parents for them. ;) Although this year, all four of us did play. :)
  7. meandmycornet

    meandmycornet Active Member

    Isn't it like the rules that kids get given to a band supporter? my dad has sat with various children in the contest hall..... and i sat with various supporters when i was little fi :D its that big a problem apart from with very tiny children.... like the adorable little boy who sung along to anglian dances with one of the fourth section bands.... mighty off putting i'd have thought... but hmmm he was definately enjoying himself!
  8. Kiz7

    Kiz7 Member

    Has anyone tried the IKEA system? No I don't mean flat packing them and leaving them a few screws short of a full wardrobe but the I am referring to the creche/kids club type of facilities they have there. You have to write down who will be collecting them and you get given a bleeper to remind you to go and collect them (this could always be adapted). After that, if you don't collect them they train them up and put them on the shop floor the next day.....
  9. cookie2

    cookie2 Member

    So if you're checking someone out, what are you looking for? How about if the organiser could show you copies of all the relevant certificates of safety/compliance ?

    Yeah, that would be reassuring, and I suppose it's all you can go on with short term creche facilities. I guess there's an over-anxious mother in me somewhere!

    Like the idea of it being somewhere to put them when band supporters are actually in the hall, if it's not a parent/grandparent they may not want to be responsible for someone else's baby/toddler (especially if they kick off!)
  10. GingerMaestro

    GingerMaestro Active Member

    I think a creche would be a good idea

    I can't stand it when a baby start screaming in the middle of a performance and the parents do nothing.... take them out as quick as poss...and I can't stand these parents who let their kids make noise in the middle of a performance and put it down to the child expressing itself to the music....B....CKS They are a pain in the arsenal and so are the parents

    If the child can't behave then don't bring it in the room
  11. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Hmmm... very harsh comments there Ginger!!! It's not quite as simple as that I'm afraid - children are not programmable robots that will do as thou master states. I'd suggest that you need to consider being a little more tolerant of children and their behaviour. Yes of course it's frustrating when a child starts complaining during a contest or concert performance, and most responsible parents would make effort to distract them and calm them down. Children can't help being grumpy when they are forced into an environment that's very loud, uncomfortable, without their toys, and sometimes with peopel they are not 100% familiar with. Cut them a little slack eh!

    I also remember well an unfortunate incident that happened to me when my son was 5 (he's 15 goign on 25 now!!). I was asked to temporarily sign for a champ band who were having sectional rehearsals on their piece. I could only make the sectional rehearsal if I brought my son with me, they agreed. My son was playing quietly under some of the chairs, and because he made a little noise in the prescence of a famous professional conductor - one of the band members who was watching the rehearsal but not playing actually had the audacity to shout out at my son... "hey, keep quiet you...!!... Shhhhhhhh"

    No-one speaks to my son like that, I left. :)
  12. GingerMaestro

    GingerMaestro Active Member

    I know children can not be turned off and on like a switch

    And it is not the children I am having a go at it's the parents.

    I have 2 kids of my own and from a very early age they knew how to behave in a situation like a contest etc....lucky you , you might say, but it's the parents who take there kids into the room and when the child starts having a paddy or making a noise they think it is one big laugh instead of getting the child out of the room. if the child is not comfortable with the situation of a lot of strange people and loud noise why put them through the ordeal especially when there are people in the room who are there to listen and have paid good money to listen to a band not some squarking kid. There are other ways to introduce a child to large groups of people and varying degrees of noise and if it has to be at a band performance then take them to a bandstand job where the noise from the surounding area is constant due to the enviroment of the venue

    Maybe I was lucky with mine. They were so put out by the ordeal they just used to fall asleep during the contest or concert even with the likes of Grimey pumping out Macarther park etc they would just put their heads back and sleep

    If they were in a mood that they were likely to make a fuss then they stayed outside the contest hall with a family member or they stayed at home with a grandparent etc

    So really there is no excuse for children to interupt a performance in my mind
  13. daisygemma

    daisygemma Member

    At Emley we are fortunate to have a lovely secretary and her daughter who regularly look after the 2 youngest supporters of the band, Issy and Annabelle. Margaret goes to most of the contests and doesn't seem to mind standing outside the door whilst pushing the pushchair.

    She also babysits Issy on some band nights so that me and Bassboneshep can both go the rehearsals.

    Without her I would have to quit banding as we have no grandparents living near us. She is an absolute treasure.

    A creche would be very useful at contests and I would certainly consider using one.
  14. Di

    Di Active Member

    Another thought I had to today is "mobile creche" services. A quick check on google and such a thing does exist. So if a creche was wanted at a venue, then these guys can turn any room into a creche.
  15. Good idea.. I'm a nursery nurse if I'm needed to be the supervisor:tongue: I would expect lots of free beer after though!:D
  16. laurz_oconnor

    laurz_oconnor Member

    I've been going to contests since before i can remember have a picture of me with my parents in my mums arms with the grand shield :) Think i also went to 1 or 2 while my mum was preggers' with me! While they played i was probably just passed around random people never did me any harm :-? ;) Maybe the alcohol fumes as such an early age are what did this 2 me!! :metal: hehe LaUrEnNeEeEeE x
  17. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    I think it is a good idea but would be difficult to organise. I don't have kids and I don't mind having small children around at contests if the parents are considerate in how they deal with the child. I think what annoys people is if children start to play up (and it is a recipe for this - contest rooms are about the most un-friendly place for a child ever!) and then the parents spend a band's whole performance trying to calm them down. If that happens the child should be taken out of the room straight away. Children should be made very welcome at contests but consideration should be shown for the band on stage. 95% of the time this does happen, like everything else it is a small minority of cases.
  18. glen miler

    glen miler Member

    As my wife doesn't like brass band contests I don't have this problem with my 2 kids but I think it's a good idea.

    She plays french horn so I do have this problem on the wind band concerts we do together. We can usually arange for someone to help but one one concert last year. in the concert hall at the RNCM, we had no one to help so following a quick chat with the conductor we dressed them up in black and white and they came on stage with us. My daughter (7) sat next to me and held my mute for me and my son (4) sat next to my wife and held her mute. They were brilliant and loved being on stage and my son is now always dissapointed if he has to sit in the audience.

    Can't see my band conductor letting him on with us in the Grand Shield though!!
  19. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    It seems to me that having a creche at a contest would be a good idea for young babies...but I wouldn't particularly feel very happy about leaving my little one (soon to be little ones) with complete strangers on the day of a contest, regardless of whether they are police checked or not...

    Also, my son absolutely LOVES contests, and sits very happily in the audience, has never once cried or made a would really get peeved if he had to go to a creche (he has been coming to contests from the age of 2 months old, and is now 3 and a half)....

    Also, a better idea at some contests might be a creche for some of the beer swilling noisy swearing adults! lol! (this is after experiencing the bar at the Midland Area this year).....