Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Australian Government helps Invermay Playgroup secure a permanent home

Young children and their parents in Northern Tasmania will benefit from their playgroup owning its own premises with the help of funding from the Australian Government.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, said a $60,000 capital grant from the Australian Government had enabled the Playgroup Association of Tasmania Northern Zone to secure ownership of its premises in Invermay, Launceston. The grant came after the new Member for Bass, Michael Ferguson made an election commitment to seek support for it.

Speaking at a celebration of ownership ceremony today, Senator Patterson said: “Securing the building as a permanent asset is a boost for local children aged five and under, their parents and caregivers and the local community.

“It will ensure that the Invermay playgroup has a permanent facility as well as a home for its extensive toy library which will service local children including those with additional needs.

“Working with Playgroups Associations, the Government is committed to giving all Australian children, no matter where they live or what their family circumstances are, an opportunity to participate in vital early learning experiences.

“Playgroups give children the opportunity to develop early learning and social skills which encourage their future learning, while parents or caregivers can share experiences and knowledge and gain valuable social and support networks.

“Parents, caregivers and their children can all benefit from attending a local playgroup which generally meets once a week for about two hours.

“Many parents and caregivers also develop confidence and skills through volunteering for positions within the management structure of playgroups and this often leads to continuing participation within the community.”