Queensland Government commits to funding extension for playgroups
Queensland families with children under one year of age will have access to free playgroup thanks to an extension of the free playgroup campaign, announced by Education Minister Grace Grace over the weekend.
The successful Play Stars initiative will continue for another three years, providing additional support for up to 10,000 Playgroup families, supported by an investment of $2.4 million over the duration, in partnership with Playgroup Queensland.
“We want to continue to create opportunities for every child to access quality early years experiences, no matter where they live,” Ms Grace said, outlining playgroup as a space where babies and young children have opportunities to build the foundations for social, emotional and physical development.
“They also support young parents and carers to build social networks and share experiences,” she added, something which was particularly important throughout 2020, when Playgroup Queensland offered Playgroup at Home activities to minimise isolation for parents and carers and children.
Ms Grace thanked Playgroup Queensland for helping to support Queensland families with young children during the challenges imposed by the pandemic.
The announcement was made to coincide with National Playgroup Week 2021 with playgroup families and Playgroup Queensland staff joining the minister on the Speaker’s Green at Parliament House.
Playgroup Queensland CEO Kirsty Dixon the organisation was pleased to celebrate the milestone of welcoming 10,000 families to the Play Stars initiative over the past five years.
“The commitment of a further $2.4 million, over the next three years, will allow many more families the opportunity to join the supportive and nurturing environment of playgroup,” she said.
The Palaszczuk Government originally committed $1.58 million funding over five years in 2016 to boost Playgroup activity by providing free membership for families to Playgroup Queensland and increasing development of online tools, resources and social media.
Play Stars provides free 12-month Playgroup Queensland membership, including access to online resources, for any Queensland family with a child under one.
More information about Play Stars is available here.