groups

GROUPS

One of the perks of becoming a VFN member is the expansive choice of groups available to you. The first weeks and months with a newborn are a trying time for all parents as they need to reshape their daily routine around their infant. This is especially challenging in a foreign country and without the support network of family and friends.

We have created VFN’s baby groups to step in and fill that void. These groups are the backbone of VFN, and our strongest and oldest tradition. We also offer a wide range of groups, based on the age of your child, the area in which you live and/or your interests. You are welcome to join more than one group.

For more information on our current groups, please contact us. If you are already a VFN members, please log in to see more information on each group.

AGE-BASED GROUPS

Baby groups
(from pregnancy)

These groups are the backbone of VFN, and our strongest and oldest tradition. Once you become a member, you can join one of our baby groups, based on the month and year of birth or on the due date – you do not need to wait for your child’s arrival to find a circle of parents with whom to exchange information about pregnancy, birth and raising a baby in Austria, or even just to socialize.

Toddler group
(1.5-3 years)

The toddler group offers a relaxed form of social interaction and support for parents of toddlers. Our WhatsApp and Facebook groups are there to help with all the questions and frustrations of life with a toddler and we meet for playdates all over Vienna.

Preschool playgroup
(3-6 years)

This is a fun, social and educational group for preschool-aged kids and their parents. We organize “after-school” and occasional weekend programs.

Primary School group
(6-10 years)

This is our online forum for families with kids in elementary school (Volksschule).

Secondary School Group
(>10 years)

The VFN Secondary School Group is for families with kids 10+. The group is aimed at not only having fun activities and online connections but also as a support network for parents. We will have events like board game days, book exchanges, and even online Kahoot competitions. Parents can also meet and discuss school issues and ideas for activities for the kids. Please join our group as well as our Facebook group for the latest updates!

SOCIAL GROUPS

Our social groups cater to the varied interests and concerns of our members, helping them to create like-minded communities in and around Vienna. We currently have groups such as: Book club, Children with Special Needs, Crochet & Coffee group, Fathers’ group, Homeschooling group, Nature Play at Prater group, Parents with Children with Food Allergies, Parents of Multiples, Professionals group.

If you would like to join one of our existing groups or start a new one, we are happy to hear from you.

LANGUAGE GROUPS

Our language groups offer members the opportunity to socialize in a specific language. These are for children of all ages and their parents. VFN currently hosts language groups in Arabic, Bulgarian, Bubamara (Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Slovenian, Montenegrin and Macedonian), Cantonese, Mandarin, Danish, Estonian, Farsi, Filipino, French, Greek, Hebrew, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Kazakh, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovak/Czech, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.

DISTRICT GROUPS

District groups bring together VFN members living in the same area (Bezirk). Each group has a voluntary coordinator that organizes regular meetups and facilitates the sharing of information about the area. Each district group is different as are its members.
Besides most of the 23 Viennese districts, VFN district groups are currently available in Klosterneuburg, the North-West of Vienna (Fels, Krems and Langenlois), Schwechat and its surroundings, the South of Vienna (Mödling and Baden), the East of Vienna (Gänserndorf, Mistelbach and Wolkersdorf), and to the West in the Wienerwald

BABYSITTING GROUPS

Babysitting circles are self-help groups organized by area. Parents living in the same district (Bezirk) take turns babysitting for each other for free. By babysitting the children of other members in your area, you may “earn” hours that you can “spend” when you need your children to be looked after by another parent for the same amount of time.

Monthly Open House

Welcome to our community of international parents! Interested in learning more about the Vienna Family Network?

The VFN Open House is a wonderful opportunity to meet with other international parents living in Vienna and learn more about our membership benefits.

Our Open House is held on the first Thursday of each month. We welcome new and prospective members, including partners and children of all ages. Join us for coffee and cake to chat about how to make the most of this wonderful, family-friendly city. We would love to welcome you soon!

Morning Open House July

04/07/2024

Welcome to our community of international parents! Interested in learning more about the Vienna Family Network? The VFN Open House is a wonderful opportunity to meet with other international parents living in Vienna and learn more about our membership benefits. We look forward to seeing you at our next Open House! Please let us know who will be joining so we can plan ahead. Our new location is: commonroom, Florianigasse 54, 1080 Wien (Entrance through the glass doors).

Register Now

VFN_EXCLUSIVE EVENTS

VFN FLEA MARKET

FLEA MARKET

VFN organizes a bi-annual International Flea and Member Business Market where all proceeds go to our Charity of the Year.

The market is typically held in late spring and fall to ensure that great bargains can be found for the upcoming seasons. This event is open to our members and the general public and is a great opportunity to meet up with friends: you can sample some delicious home baked treats from our International Cafe while admiring each other’s new purchases!

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT AT THE MARKET?

International Flea Market – Only our VFN members can buy a table to sell their secondhand children’s/family-related items.

Junior Market – The next generation of VFN gets to gain some first-hand experience by selling their toys to willing buyers. This is truly a great opportunity for our junior members, from the age of 8+, to have a bit more independence and earn some pocket money!

Member Business Market – Get the chance to meet some of our fantastic member businesses in person and talk to them about their products or services.

Children’s Activities – Sponsored by some of our member businesses, entertainment is also provided for children.

International Café – Our members donate yummy treats from across the globe to be sold to hungry shoppers, and all the proceeds from these donations go to our Charity of the Year. Sampling delicacies and all for a good cause is definitely a Flea Market highlight! Note: VFN is not liable for any weight gained due to over-consumption of delicious baked goods.

SOCIAL EVENTS

CHRISTMAS PARTY

The members-only VFN annual Christmas Party is a true highlight of the year. A dedicated team of volunteers ensures that the Christmas spirit is felt on this day with a variety of activities, entertainment, festive treats and merriment for children of all ages. All proceeds from this event go to our Charity of the Year.

Whether you have been naughty or nice, you are definitely on our list (no need to check twice) to join our celebrations. There is something for everyone including, hopefully, a quick meet-and-greet with someone special from far up north! There are also always a host of partners and sponsors (to whom VFN is eternally thankful) that donate their time, provide entertainment or contribute prizes for the raffle, ensuring that this really is a party for the whole family.

HALLOWEEN TRICK OR TREAT

Calling all vampires, witches, pumpkins, ghosts (and other spooky characters): the VFN Halloween Trick and Treat event is your time to shine! This event is open to both our members and the general public.

Put on costumes, get out decorations, carve pumpkins and then walk around your neighborhood to find some spooky houses and hopefully some yummy treats! We typically have over 200 families participating, and it is truly a spectacle to see thanks to the creepy costumes and spooky decorations.

Information Events

EDUCATION NIGHT

Deciding on a school for a child is an important and often difficult step for us parents, particularly if we are unfamiliar with the education system of the country that we live in.

VFN offers to its members an exclusive VFN Education Night in order to help parents whose children will begin primary school in the next few years. We are always joined by a representative of the Vienna Board of Education who shares the enrolment process, school place allocation, as well as language initiatives, and also answers as many questions as possible.

A panel of VFN parents whose children have already started school (public and private, international and bilingual) also share their experiences and answer the questions that come up.

FIRST AID

Each and every day there are numerous hazards, big and small, that our children face; sometimes these result in injury. From cuts and grazes, to breaks and sprains, to choking and even more serious situations, are you up to date with the relevant first aid procedures so that you can act quickly and appropriately should the need arise?

In cooperation with the Arbeiter-Samariterbund, we organize regular English language events for our members to boost your knowledge and expertise in this area.

WORKSHOPS AND WEBINARS

VFN organizes workshops and webinars for our members, which cover topics that are relevant to parenting and family life. We promote our member businesses by inviting them as guest speakers to share their knowledge.
Through our network with other organizations, on occasion, we can also offer special rates for our members to join their workshops, webinars or events.

If you have a topic that you would like to host, then please make contact with us.

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VFN Community

VFN thrives on the interaction of its member community.  Our organization is as robust as ever thanks to various media channels that allow our members to engage outside of face-to-face events.

Our social media community keeps you plugged in with up-to-date, customized information shared by peers. From finding a pediatrician to getting recommendations for weekend family outings, the VFN Facebook and WhatsApp groups allow you to find the information you seek. This is also the place to go for real time support, regardless of the time of day (or night!).
Additionally, VFN sends regular newsletters regarding upcoming activities and events as well as Marketplace and Member Business notices advertised by VFN members.

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Volunteering Opportunities

VOLUNTEERING WITH VFN

VFN is an organization run entirely by member-volunteers. We pride ourselves on the level of support provided by our members, who donate their time, experience and expertise to keep our network running smoothly. Volunteering is a great way to develop new skills and have some fun, while meeting new friends. If this is something that you are considering, there are many roles to choose from depending on your skillset, interests and availability. For an overview of our volunteer roles, please go to our Volunteering section.

7 REASONS TO VOLUNTEER WITH VFN

As soon as you join VFN, you can start enjoying all the perks of being a member. Becoming a volunteer can make that journey even more special. Here are seven reasons why you should volunteer for VFN:

1. Do something for yourself

As a parent, you spend most of your time looking after others, so this is the chance to do something for you!

2. Boost your confidence and well-being

Parenthood can be lonely at times and volunteering can help you get out, meet new people in a similar situation to yourself, and build friendships.

3. Share your talents and learn new skills

Take pride in utilizing your skills, talents and knowledge to make VFN even better or take the opportunity to learn a new skill in a supportive and friendly environment.

4. Bridge CV gaps

Being part of a team or committee working on projects or events – big and small – can help you keep one foot in the world of work.

5. Be part of a fantastic team

VFN is full of incredible people, with a broad range of experience, cultures and backgrounds. It is a fantastic way to meet and work with other parents that share your passion and enthusiasm.

6. Get extra benefits

Our volunteers get priority booking for flea market tables, discounted Christmas party tickets and more! Dedicated volunteers also get invited to our annual VFN Appreciation Night: a great chance to all get together and have some fun after working hard.

7. Give back

VFN gives us an immediate sense of community in a time when many of us are unsure of what lies ahead. Volunteering is a chance to give back and help others grow into their new roles as a parent and/or resident of Vienna.

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Exclusive Discounts

BUSINESSES OFFERING MEMBER DISCOUNTS

Vienna is a world-class city filled with endless opportunities for you and your family.

One of the perks of being a VFN member is having access to exclusive discounts. To view these discounts, please log into the “Members Only” section of the website with your username and password.

Have fun exploring!

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Fundraising activities

Becoming a VFN member gives you the chance to make a difference in the broader community by taking part in our fundraising activities.

Charity of the Year

At the beginning of each year, VFN members select a charity for whom they will raise funds throughout the year. In order to become a possible candidate, the charity must meet the following eligibility criteria. It must:

– Be included in the official list of charitable organizations kept by the Austrian Ministry of Finance OR be listed in the official association register;

– Help children or families in need;

– Be active in Austria (local projects).

Die Möwe helps children, young people and their caregivers with incidents of physical, emotional and sexual violence and the resulting concerns. At the six möwe child protection centers we provide personal, telephone and online advice, crisis intervention when violence occurs,  sychotherapy, psychological diagnosis and psycho-social and legal guidance for minors through court  procedures.

With the preventative offerings of the möwe academy, we want to make knowledge about child protection available to as many people as possible and thus help prevent violence against children and young people. We provide workshops for children and young people, information events and workshops for parents, lectures and intervention training for educators and cooperate with organizations to implement child protection guidelines. The “Frühe Hilfen” give family support for parents of young children and pregnant women in stressful situations to better cope with everyday life.

We want to raise awareness for the rights of children and everyone’s responsibility for protecting children and young people.

It’s been a pleasure for my colleagues and me to meet members of VFN in 2019 on various occasions and receive your support during your numerous charity events. The women of Vienna Family Network are quite special with great engagement and big hearts for women who have very little to live with. Your support provides them with necessities and support in order to become independent again or for the first time in their lives.  — Ingrid Rachbauer, Fundraising – Caritas der Erzdiözese Wien – Hilfe in Not

Recent VFN Charities include:

2023 – Kinderhospiz Netz
2022 – The CliniClowns Austria
2021 – KiB Children Care
2020 – KiB Children Care
2019 – Caritas Wir Tun
2018 – Beacon House Autism in Vienna
2017 – Kinder Krebs Hilfe
2016 – Help refugees in Traiskirchen and Vienna and St. Anna Kinderspital
2015 – SOS Kinderdorf Austria