Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Grandies Playgroup

A new program at the Patricia Giles Centre in Perth to encourage grandparents and older carers to become involved in the care of young children is being supported by the Australian Government.

The Young Mums and Grandies Group expands the successful Kurlungas Playgroup for Mums (Carers) and Bubs, in the suburbs of Girrawheen and Balga.

The Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin announced that the Government would provide $15,600 in funding to the end of June 2009.

“We know that grandparents and older carers can make a great contribution to both the social and physical development of young children,” Ms Macklin said.

“The program will support them and the children they care for and will include health services from visiting professionals and strategies to help them manage the children’s transition to school.

“There will also be a continuing Indigenous focus through art and craft, music and singing, dance and movement.

“This new program to strengthen families reflects the Government’s commitment to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians,” Ms Macklin said.

It is expected that between eight and 10 adults and up to 20 children will benefit from this program, which will run on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 10am and 1pm.

The Kurlungas Playgroup for Mums (Carers) and Bubs, which is also funded by the Australian Government, is encouraging increased participation by fathers in raising their children.

Each Tuesday at least two fathers participate in playgroup activities alongside the 10 mothers or grandmas and 15 children. The men’s participation enables the playgroup to foster the cultural strengths of Aboriginal extended families.