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Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Playgroups for bushfire affected families

Joint Media Release with:

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

Families affected by the devastating Victorian bushfires will have immediate access to high quality early childhood services with $273,200 in Australian Government funding to support 29 playgroups across the state.The funding will allow Playgroup Victoria to employ six full time staff and hire or purchase three vehicles to deliver support to families with young children in Kinglake, Murrindindi, Bendigo, Wandong and Traralgon.

, Jenny Macklin, announced the additional funding to coincide with today’s World’s Biggest Playgroup Day.

“The Australian Government will initially provide this funding for the next six months to help these playgroups get back up and running,” Ms Macklin said.

“After so much loss and grief, we need to support families to re-establish the normal routines of life – like taking their children to playgroups.

“Many families are facing enormous practical and emotional challenges in starting again and rebuilding.

“Spending time with other parents, gives mums and dads the chance to share their experiences while their children have fun together.

“Playgroups have always been important in connecting people and cementing friendships. In communities devastated by the fires, they are a welcome return to normality for families and children who have been through so much.

“The Australian Government will be there every step of the way to support Victorian families and communities as they recover and rebuild.”

, Bill Shorten, said playgroups provide parents with company, while children develop social skills and gain confidence in a nurturing environment.

“Today’s announcement reaffirms the Australian Government’s support for families affected by the Victorian bushfires,” Mr Shorten said.

This year’s theme for World’s Biggest Playgroup, Playgroup: bringing families together, is a chance to bring together children and families from more than 8,000 community playgroups across Australia to celebrate and connect with the community.