Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Celebrating National Playgroup Week

Joint Media Release with:

  • Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Minister for Disability Reform

  • Julie Collins MP, Minister for Community Services

The Minister for Families Jenny Macklin joined the Governor General Quentin Bryce today at Scullin Jellybeans Playgroup in Canberra to launch National Playgroup Week with local children and their families.

National Playgroup Week runs from 25 March to 1 April 2012 and families have the opportunity to share in the fun at more than 70 celebratory events across the country.

The theme of this year’s National Playgroup Week is Serious fun! Discover Playgroup, which highlights the role of playgroups in creating fun learning opportunities for children and parents alike.

National Playgroup Week raises awareness of the social, emotional, and cognitive benefits of playgroups at an important time of brain and skill development for children.

“We want to give all children the best possible start in life so they grow up to be happy, healthy adults,” Ms Macklin said.

“Playgroups are a great place for kids to start their development. They help kids learn through fun activities like singing, dancing and art, and get them ready to start school.”

Playgroups give children aged up to five years old the opportunity to meet, learn and play with other children, regardless of where they live or their circumstances.

They also give parents a chance to get together to chat and share their parenting experiences, and give each other advice and support.

“As we celebrate National Playgroup Week, we would like to thank all the workers at the thousands of playgroups running in communities across the country who are helping little kids from more than 100,000 Australian families,” Ms Macklin said.

Ms Collins said the Australian Government provides more than $4 million each year for free or low-cost community playgroups in our cities, regions and rural towns.

“This is part of the Government’s investment of more than $1 billion over three years under the Family Support Program, which provides vital support to families and children,” Ms Collins said.

In addition, the Government is providing $5 million as part of the $220 million Helping Children with Autism package to deliver 100 playgroups that support children with an autism spectrum disorder and their families.

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