ALP makes play-based pledge in the lead up to Federal Election
Playgroups and toy libraries have been promised federal funding should the Australian Labor Party (ALP) be successful in securing Government in the (as yet unannounced) 2019 Federal Election, Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education Amanda Rishworth has said.
The funding pledge is “the first ever Commonwealth funding program to support toy libraries and is long overdue recognition of the important support playgroups and toy libraries provide to families and children,” Ms Rishworth shared, announcing the proposal to expand community-based playgroups and toy libraries, via a $6.1 million “grassroots grant program”.
Under the proposal, playgroups and toy libraries would be eligible for one-off grants of between $5,000 and $15,000 to individual organisations, with Playgroups Australia and Toy Libraries Australia to receive $50,000 each to “support further growth, accessibility and development of their community programs”.
The proposed grants available are as follows:
- $15,000 to establish new or expand existing toy libraries or playgroups or undertake minor capital works. The grant will cover the costs involved in setting up or expanding, such as buying toys or refurbishing a space.
- $5,000 for existing organisations to purchase new toys, books, paints, craft materials or other consumables.
- $50,000 each to Playgroups Australia and Toy Libraries Australia as the peak bodies to support the expansion of toy libraries and playgroups, by developing resources, advice, information materials and provide insurance.
Ms Rishworth said that, “for many families, community playgroups are often a child’s first educational experience outside the home. Labor’s commitment to playgroups and toy libraries will once again put the focus back on early education and emphasise the importance of our children’s development and social connections during their early years.”
“Nurturing our children in play based learning, while supporting their parents and carers to build social connections, is proven to develop smarter, healthier children and happier parents and carers,” said Ms Rishworth.