Young Mobile Playgroup steps in to support children who are waiting for ECEC spaces
Young Mobile Play Activities Coordinator reached out to The Hilltop Phoenix to promote the value of playgroups for those families who are struggling to secure enrolment for their children in early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings.
The mobile playgroup has been servicing the Hilltops region of Southern New South Wales for more than 30 years and can support children who are not enrolled in ECEC with the opportunity to experience an educational-based program that lets them explore through play and develop skills, including cognitive and fine and gross motor skills.
Young Mobile Play operates every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, rotating venues over a fortnight, and offering morning and afternoon sessions at different venues. Typically the afternoon sessions are quieter and held on the outskirts of Young.
This unique service operates with two full-time, fully trained educators and two casual workers.
Funding from the Education department covers Tuesdays and Wednesdays while the Department of Community and Justice (DCJ) makes Thursdays possible.
Working with the Young TAFE the playgroup is running a Storytime program for Koori families and also offers a language/storytime session where children listen to a story followed by some music, dancing and singing.
The toys provided for the children are changed over every month, so the children get to play with the toys at least twice. The craft activities are changed fortnightly, to allow everyone the opportunity to participate in that activity.
“The number of families and children who attend each session varies, people don’t need to book in, just turn up on the day,” the Play coordinator said.
“Our Young playgroups are always a good size and can vary from 10 to 25 families, each family having one or two children on average.”
Parents in the area have described the group as “their lifeline; a chance to breathe, vent, connect with others, make new friends, seek out information and enjoy a well-deserved cuppa.”
“We are not only there for the children, but also to support our families,” the coordinator explained.
“Whether it is because they are new to town, from a different country and therefore may not be able to speak a lot of English. Perhaps they are struggling financially or in a domestic violence situation. No matter what their need is, we are connected with many services in the Hilltops region and can help them to connect to the service they need.”
To read the original coverage of this story please see here.
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