Young mum of twin boys Amy Drew is making sure her children continue to get the best start in life, thanks to help from her 'supermum' educator Teresa.
When Amy discovered she was having twins it was a shock, with no twins in the family.
She was 18 when boys Connor and Riley were born one month premature. While it was an exhilarating and exciting time, the first few years were pretty tough, particularly as both boys had serious food allergies. “Riley had severe reflux but both boys slept really well so I was lucky with that side of things.”
Fortunately Amy’s mum Teresa has been there to help the family from day one and when Amy decided to start studying for a career in nursing, it was Teresa who offered to care for the boys, now three.
“Mum is amazing with the boys, she loves them and they completely adore her, so I was really pleased they could stay with her at her home.”
At first Teresa looked after the children four days a week without the support of PORSE.
“It wasn’t until we were at a local multi-birth group that someone suggested mum could become a paid family educator with PORSE.”
Teresa has support from a PORSE Programme Tutor who visits her at home and provides guidance with the boy’s learning and development. With the help of PORSE, ECE and Work and Income subsidies, Amy has no financial outgoings for childcare and Teresa is earning while caring for Connor and Riley.
Teresa not only cares for the twins, she also helps out as a volunteer at the Napier Family Centre, offering weekly respite care for single mothers. “My mother had foster children and I have grown up with a love for children,” Teresa says.
Teresa adores playing such an important role in her grandsons’ lives and she’s enormously proud of daughter Amy.
“Amy’s been so amazing with her studies and she’s doing really well. When things are difficult I say, “just think, by the time the twins start school you’ll have your career in front of you.”
While the boys are healthy three year olds they are fussy eaters, made more difficult by allergies to milk, eggs, gluten and wheat. Their allergies mean Amy is very particular about the care they are getting.
“I send food with them but mum still has to keep a watchful eye on what they eat.”
To give Teresa a chance to help out at the Family Centre, Connor and Riley now spend one day a week with PORSE Educator Danielle. The boys are able to play with the other two children at Danielle’s house and they’re getting a feel for life away from Teresa’s home.
As Amy prepares for her second year studying for a Bachelor of Nursing, she’s focused on completing her studies and providing a secure future for her family. “It’s so much easier to study knowing that my boys are happy and my mum’s happy too.”
Multiple births and home help...
Together with PORSE Subsidies, Work and Income support and ECE hours, a family with a multiple birth may be able to receive an extra financial support package called Home Help, if they have another child who is under the age of five years old. This support is available to everyone who meets the criteria and does not require an asset test. Assistance is not available if the twins are born first and the mother has a further child.
Families who have given birth or adopted triplets, quads, and quins do not have to have another child in their care to qualify for Home Help.
Payments of Home Help for multiple births are also available if the client’s partner, immediate family member or an occupant of the home is the home helper. The payment of Home Help is paid to the home helper.