Start Strong Grant is a game changer for Playgroup NSW
As part of a $16 million funding announcement designed to support children to be better prepared for preschool, and to promote the importance of early childhood education, Playgroup NSW has been awarded $1.754 million of Start Strong Pathways funding over two years, to establish Play Strong supported playgroups across the state.
These playgroups will provide early learning pathways for vulnerable communities, and promote the importance of early childhood education.
New South Wales Minister for Early Childhood, Ms Sarah Mitchell said “Many families already engage with fantastic organisations like playgroups, and we want to better resource them so more families can benefit from them. Not only will engaging with these play-based services benefit children too young for preschool, it will also give parents a chance to come together to learn about early childhood education in NSW.”
As the peak body representing playgroups across NSW, Playgroup NSW has 26,000 members in over 80 per cent of NSW postcodes. Programs and services centre around play and are universally beneficial for communities, carers and children from a range of backgrounds.
Playgroup NSW CEO Nadene Lee welcomed the opportunity to increase participation and accessibility for vulnerable families across the state, saying “As part of Play Strong, Playgroup NSW has commenced expanding connections with early education providers and building heightened levels of awareness of the high-quality learning opportunity that early childhood services, including playgroups, provide for children from birth”.
Ms Lee cited research showing that children who attend playgroup during early childhood have significantly better outcomes when they start school than those who do not, and Playgroup NSW continues to advocate for playgroup participation to be a core component of a government policy framework for children aged zero to five years.