Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Supporting playgroups for children and families

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Bill Shorten MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children's Services and Parliamentary Secretary for Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction

The World’s Biggest Playgroup Day is a time to celebrate playgroups and increase awareness of their work in communities across Australia.

The Rudd Government is providing $1.2 million to Playgroups Australia to deliver 96 supported playgroups over two years for families with children across the country.

The Government values the enormous contribution made by playgroups to delivering support and education to Australian families in a relaxed and friendly environment.

They help develop children’s social, emotional, physical and cognitive abilities and provide opportunities for parents and caregivers to establish social and support networks to assist them in parenting.

The 96 playgroups are in addition to our commitments under the Helping Children with Autism Package and our Indigenous closing the gap agenda.

The Government is providing $14.6 million to 2011 for 52 Indigenous-specific supported playgroups in remote, regional and urban communities and an additional 7 supported playgroups for vulnerable families.

We are also delivering 150 PlayConnect playgroups by 2012 for children with autism spectrum disorders.

Supported playgroups also provide support to vulnerable families, such as those from different cultural backgrounds, refugees, Indigenous families, teenage and young parents, grandparent carers and carers of children with disability.

A trained worker runs play based activities with the children and supports parents and other carers including encouraging families to access other appropriate community services and activities.

The Government also contributes ongoing funding of up to $3.5 million each year to state and territory playgroup associations to support community playgroups with advice and resources.

We recognise the important role of play in the development of children, and this is central to our commitment to providing a child-centred approach to family policy.