PLAYGROUPS CLOSE TO HOME HELP FAMILIES CONNECT

A playgroup helping young families in Moe to connect and support one another was one of many winners at last night’s 2015 Playgroup Awards at the Melbourne Convention Centre.

The Andrews Labor Government was proud to be part of Playgroup Victoria’s annual awards to recognise and celebrate the important role of playgroups in Victorian communities.

The Minister’s Award for Excellence and Innovation this year was presented to St Kieran’s playgroup in Moe, which has been connecting young families for the past five years.

The playgroup has taken an active role in reaching out to new parents and carers, and buddying up new families with others at the service for additional support – a particularly important role in regional areas.

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

The Playgroup Awards are an opportunity to acknowledge the hard work of community members and volunteers who maintain the many active and vibrant playgroups operating across the state.

The Labor Government recently announced support for establishing new playgroups through the $50,000 Great Start fund, with priority given to areas where none or a low number of community playgroups operate. Grants of up to $1000 have gone to 40 new playgroups so far.

The Victorian Government is committed to making Victoria the Education State – and this begins with giving every child a strong start in life. A full list of award winners is available on Playgroup Victoria’s website: http://www.playgroup.org.au

Quote attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos

“Early learning is vital for brain development and giving children the best start in life – children learn so much by playing and socialising with each other and playgroups provide a great opportunity for this.”

Quote attributable to Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Premier Judith Graley

“We want every Victorian family to have access to a quality playgroup close to home – they are a great way for parents and children to make friends and establish support networks in their local communities.”

Quotes attributable to Acting CEO of Playgroup Victoria Jason Doherty

“The third annual Playgroup Awards celebrate playgroups and individuals supporting children and families across the playgroup spectrum. Finalists from the awards are an example of how playgroups connect communities.”

“Playgroup Victoria would like to thank the Minister for her ongoing support of playgroups and families across Victoria. This vital support helps 40,000 children learn and grow through playgroup each week.”