Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Supporting the Children in Darwin

A Howard Government grant of $75,300 will continue to help build family and community capacity and early learning opportunities for children in a number of Indigenous communities around Darwin.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson today announced that the Save the Children Fundwould receive the funding for an Intensive Supported Playgroup. Senator Patterson made the announcement while visiting the playgroup in Darwin.

“The playgroup will provide local Indigenous families in unstable accommodation the opportunity to access early learning opportunities for their children,” Senator Patterson said.

“In Darwin, the Save the Children Fundhas developed partnerships with the Larrakia Nation and Karu Aboriginal and Islander Child Care Agency to develop the Playgroup program within culturally relevant guidelines.

“The playgroup bus visits a number of communities around Darwin including Palmerston Indigenous Village, Bagot Community, Knuckeys Lagoon and, more recently, Minmarama Park.

“An example of how these programs can help children in the often difficult transition from playgroups to school is that one of the playgroups has already arranged for teachers from the school to visit the playgroup and members of the playgroup to visit the local school once a week.

“It helps some Indigenous children in making the transition to school by reducing the stress of going to a unfamiliar cultural environment without adequate preparation.

“The Howard Government recognises families can often need additional support to access early childhood services and all children no matter where they live or what their family circumstances, should have the opportunity to enjoy playgroups and be supported during the move to school,” Senator Patterson said.