Federal Government backs Toy Libraries with four-year funding commitment
The Sector > Research > Allied Fields > Federal Government backs Toy Libraries with four-year funding commitment

Federal Government backs Toy Libraries with four-year funding commitment

by Freya Lucas

March 07, 2023

The Federal Government will support Australia’s toy libraries through ongoing funding of $700,000 over four years, to be delivered through Toy Libraries Australia, further supporting the Government’s commitment to the early years.


The announcement was made in line with the 16th International Toy Libraries Conference, which was recently held in Melbourne for the first time in 30 years. More than 150 toy librarians from 13 countries gathered to discuss and highlight the important role that playgroups and toy libraries play in early childhood development outcomes.


Federal Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said that children thrive when they have access to play based learning opportunities, something which toy libraries support. 


“At their heart, playgroups and toy libraries are about play and connection.


“They are an essential part of communities across Australia, providing children and their families with better access to resources, social support, and community connection.”


The latest data from Toy Libraries Australia shows that more than 130,000 Australians are using a toy library. As a collective, toy libraries in Australia own toys worth $28 million, which equates to $640 worth of toys for every family that is a member of a toy library. Most memberships to toy libraries cost less than $2 per week each year.


The new funding for Toy Libraries Australia will be used to help upgrade facilities and improve accessibility of developmentally appropriate toys to families of children with disability, and was welcomed by Toy Libraries Australia CEO Debbie Williams who said the group was “thrilled to see this investment in toy libraries from the Federal Government”.


“Children learn through play, and toy libraries help parents and carers nurture children’s development through the critical early periods with ‘tools’ they wouldn’t otherwise have access to,” she explained. 


“They’re also community meeting places that encourage families to spend quality time playing together. This funding will help further strengthen and grow toy libraries around Australia so more families can access a wide range of quality toys.”


More information on playgroups and toy libraries is available at Playgroup Australia and Toy Libraries Australia websites.

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