Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Minister Anthony praises Playgroups

Federal Minister for Community Services, Larry Anthony, today acknowledged the vital contribution made by playgroups to Australian families when he officially opened the Tweed River Fun Day as part of the National Playgroups Day celebrations.

Mr Anthony said that playgroups are an integral part of a child’s early childhood development, with around 112,000 families across the country making use of playgroup facilities.

“What young children learn – their behaviours, how to communicate, and how they relate to others, can really affect the quality and happiness of their lives, later on. Children can learn these important life skills by participating with their parents in a playgroup,” Mr Anthony said.

“Playgroups also help our children learn other skills that will help them when they start school – things like learning to read and learning to count.”

The Government currently provides around $1.7 million annually to State and Territory Playgroup Associations. In NSW alone the Playgroup Association receives $526,000 and supports 28,000 members.

An important part of the Government’s National Families Strategy will be looking at how to give more help to families with babies and pre-schoolers.

“Existing services like home visiting, playgroups, child care services, community health workers, schools, and neighbourhood centres can always be improved. The Government will continue to work closely with local communities to set up more effective connections and networks,” Mr Anthony said.

“Playgroups play a vital role in developing these community-based networks. They also enable parents to share information about how to get the support they need for the task of providing their children with the best possible start in life.”