Neue Stadt, neue Sprache, neuer Lebensabschnitt – das allein klingt schon nach einer großen Herausforderung. Die wird noch unweit größer, wenn man schwanger ist oder schon ein Kind hat und nicht weiß, wo ein guter Kinderarzt/Spielplatz/Kindergarten oder welches Amt für was zuständig ist. Und noch dazu kann das Leben als Expat ganz schön einsam werden. Bis man auf den Vienna Babies Club trifft! Den kennen die meisten vermutlich von den regelmäßig stattfindenden Flohmärkten, doch er hat noch viel mehr zu bieten. In dem englischsprachigen Club kann man sich mit Expats, deren Kindern im selben Alter sind, in Kleingruppen austauschen und ein Netzwerk in Wien aufbauen.
Was der Club sonst noch zu bieten hat, hat mir seine Präsidentin Claudia erklärt:
Wien mit Kind: What is the Vienna Babies Club (VBC)?
Claudia: The VBC is an English speaking support network for expat families living in and around Vienna. We are a non-profit organization, 100% volunteered based. Our thriving community was started by international mothers in the early 90s and became an official Verein in 2009. The main purpose was supporting expat mothers especially during their pregnancies and the first years of their children´s lives.
However, in its 20+ years of life the VBC has evolved and broadened its scope. We now have groups dedicated to fathers and “older” children (toddler group, pre-school group, etc.) and we have recently started organizing events focusing on job/search and career topics as well as on the Austrian Education System.
W: Which are the VBC member benefits? What can you expect as a VBC member?
C: The VBC provides support to its members in several ways: We connect expat parents at the same pregnancy stage, or with children of the same age within groups who are meeting regularly around the city. These groups are a great opportunity for getting to know people in a similar situation, exchanging experiences, tips, information and creating lasting friendships.
We organize “district” groups giving the unique opportunity to meet parents living just around the corner and exchange info about life in the neighborhood, “language” groups for those who are missing speaking their mother tongue or simply want to practice a new language, several “social” group such as book clubs, single parents groups, groups dedicated to different hobbies, etc. We are always open to new proposals and members just have to approach us with their idea and we will try to make it work!
VBC offers informational events and workshops in English on the Austrian Education system, on Pediatric First Aid and on the career/job search challenges of parents in the Austrian market; We organize Christmas and Halloween Parties, concerts for kids, cross district events in several locations and a very popular biannual International Flea and Design Market.
We inform our members with weekly and monthly notices that include recommendations from other members for services such as nannies and household keepers, Buy/sell announcements, upcoming events, member´s business advertisements and the full list of our social and district groups.
Thanks to the generosity of some institution and private businesses VBC members are also offered special discounts and deals. Each group and event is run by our dedicated volunteers. Without them, we would not be existing!
W: How can I become a VBC member?
C: To join the VBC you just have to fill out the online application form and pay a „one for lifetime“ fee of 35 Euro. The joining fee is per pregnancy and it does not have to be renewed. There are No monthly or yearly fee, you pay once and you are a member forever!
W: VBC is organized in groups. Could you please explain this system?
C: Once your membership fee is paid, if you are pregnant or with children under 18 months, you will be contacted by the coordinator of your parents-baby group. These groups are made up of parents with babies of a similar age (max 2 months apart) or with similar due dates.
If your child is older than 18 months, you will be informed through the VBC Social Notices about all other „age“ groups: Toddler group, Pre-school group, School age group. The new member can decide to join (or not) one of these groups by contacting directly the coordinator.
Aside of the „age“ groups VBC has several other groups: language groups, district groups, book clubs, fathers group, single parents group, babysitting circles, etc. Each member can join them at any time by contacting the coordinators listed in the Notices.
W: As the name is Vienna Babies Club: do you have to leave the club when your baby becomes a toddler?
C: The name is unfortunately misleading…nobody has to leave the club when the children are growing, our membership is for life! VBC offers events and groups that are dedicated to each and every family member so that the all family will always enjoy the benefits of being in the VBC extraordinary community!
W: Thank you for the interview!
For more information see Vienna Babies Club’s website >>