Playgroups promised extra funding if the ALP secures victory in next election

Playgroups promised extra funding if the ALP secures victory in next election

by Freya Lucas

May 12, 2022

In the event that the party secures victory at the next Federal election on 21 May, The Australian Labor Party (ALP) has promised $11 million over the forward estimates to:

 

  • Support Playgroups Australia and Toy Libraries Australia to grow their membership, offer free playgroups and set up new playgroups in regional and remote areas; 
  • Upgrade facilities and purchase new materials, like toys and books, for playgroups and toy libraries across the country; AND, 
  • Help expand intergenerational playgroups – like those seen in the television series ‘Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds’ – many of which are yet to return to normal after COVID-19.

 

Around one in three children attend one of the 6,000 playgroups around Australia in the years before they start school. Community playgroups are often a child’s first educational experience outside the home, where they learn through social play with other children and adults.

 

Research shows children who are part of a playgroup are more likely to start school ready to learn with better communication, language and cognitive skills than those who aren’t part of a playgroup. This is particularly the case for children from remote parts of Australia.

 

Playgroups are also a valuable source of social support for parents and care-givers. 87 per cent of parents say one of the benefits of attending their playgroup is social support.

 

“We know that over 90 per cent of human brain development occurs in the first five years. Playgroups play a critical role in that development with kids learning together and developing social skills, as well as creating a vital network for parents,” ALP leader Anthony Albanese said.  

 

“Playgroup organisations nationally have long delivered intergenerational play programs that improve the health and wellbeing of older Australians, and provide rich learning experiences for families and young children,” Playgroup Australia spokesperson Nadene Lee added. 

 

“Investment in Timeless Play intergenerational groups would support expansion of a range of program and service models, both digitally, at aged care sites and in community. This would occur with Playgroup’s network of partners including aged care providers, universities, innovation specialists, technology companies and early childhood organisations, and serve as a collaborative commitment to enacting critical and meaningful impact for older Australians, families and communities.”

 

To access the announcement, please see here. For information about Playgroups Australia, please see here

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