SECURING COMMUNITY PLAYGROUPS INTO THE FUTURE

The Andrews Labor Government is providing new funding to help community kindergartens grow, particularly in areas lacking vital services.

The $100,000 investment is administered by Playgroup Victoria and will allow playgroups to stock up on toys, play equipment, books and other resources used by families.

At tonight’s Playgroup Victoria Annual Playgroup Awards, Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos announced that the Great Start Community Playgroup Grant Fund has been secured until 2018.

In 2015, 65 grants were provided to community playgroups, including 22 in regional and rural Victoria.

This year up to 70 new playgroups or new playgroup sessions are expected to receive grants through the 2016 Great Start grants round.

At the award ceremony, Ms Mikakos also presented the Minister’s Award for Innovation and Excellence in Playgroups to the Mirboo North Playgroup.

The playgroup provides parents with opportunities to strengthen their parenting skills and promote positive behavior in the community, such as delivering workshops on cyber safety, Maternal and Child Health services and child first aid.

The Government provides more than $4 million each year to enable a network of Supported Playgroups to operate across the state, which offer a more intensive level of support for families experiencing disadvantage.

Playgroups play a vital role in strengthening families and communities, and instilling children with a lifelong love of learning.

More than 40,000 children and 30,000 families participate in playgroups in Victoria each year.

The Government is making Victoria the Education State – this begins with giving every child a strong start in life.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos

“The Andrews Labor Government is helping more parents access community playgroups close to home.”

“Early childhood services make a big difference to children’s lives, and we’re ensuring all Victorian children see the benefits.”

“I congratulate Mirboo North Playgroup for their tireless work as a rural playgroup that is building strong community connections and supporting local families.”