Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

World’s Biggest Playgroup Day:

Additional funding given to support children with disability to attend playgroups.
By Motherpedia
Date: March 19 2013
Editor Rating:

Playgroups around Australia will celebrate the World’s Biggest Playgroup Day tomorrow as part of National Playgroup Week.

And with the theme of this year’s National Playgroup Week, Able to Play, the Australian Government has announced a grant of $600,000 to help make playgroup more accessible to children with disability through a new Better Start Playgroup Community Events program.

The program will fund 72 events across Australia over the next three years to help promote community playgroups to parents of children with disability.

“We want all children to get the best possible start in life so they can grow up to be happy, healthy adults,” said the Minister for Families, Jenny Macklin.

“These community events will be available for all families, so children with different skills and abilities can interact and learn together.

“The community events will also help families develop social networks, and connect children with disability to local support services.”

More than 200,000 parents and carers are members of a playgroup.

“Playgroups are more than just a place for children to play. Community playgroups also provide vital support for parents through peer support, community engagement and by building social capital in our communities,” said Anne-Marie Mioche, CEO of Playgroup Australia.

She says the importance of supporting families to help themselves is verified by multiple research findings.

“Family is the most pervasive influence on children’s development, their education and their physical and mental health.

“Community playgroups provide an affordable and accessible avenue to meet that need.”

The Government provides more than $3.7 million each year to organisations for free or low-cost community playgroups.

Ms Macklin said that support for the Better Start Playgroup Community Events program was further evidence of the Government’s support for people with disability and their families.

“In another step that this care and support is about to become real for Australians with disability and their families, we now have a name for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) - ‘DisabilityCare Australia’.

“DisabilityCare Australia reflects the principles of the NDIS – that all Australians with significant or profound disability receive the care and support they need, regardless of how they acquired that disability.”

The Government has not yet settled how the NDIS – which is estimated to cost in the vicinity of $18 billion a year – will be funded or afforded. 

* * * 

For further information on community playgroups see Playgroup Australia.

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