Barnardos supporting local families through playgroup

Hayden Betcke is one of the many local children who enjoy Barnardos’ weekly family playgroups at Ngalii Preschool, which is coordinated by new Barnardos team member Marie Scott. ▪ Photo contributed

Childcare worker Marie Scott, a well known face to Cobar kids, has recently been welcomed to the Barnardos Cobar team.

Ms Scott is Barnardos’ new Child and Family Worker and comes to the role with plenty of experience having a Certificate III and a Diploma in Early Childcare qualifications and she’s also worked for a number of years at the Kubby House Childcare Centre.

The Cobar Barnardos team provides
community support with information, referrals to other services and advice on developmentally appropriate play activities for children.

Ms Scott’s new job involves coordinating weekly playgroups for 0-5 year olds at the Ngalii Preschool and the Cobar Local Aboriginal Lands Council.

The twice a week playgroup sessions provide opportunities for parents and children to interact with each other.

Ms Scott said the playgroups offer more than just ‘fun and games’.

“We also have educational resources
such as colour sorting or learning the alphabet.”

She said Barnardos uses the ‘3a’ program (Abecedarian Approach Australia), which has a priority on language, caregiving, conversational reading and learning games.

Ms Scott said some parents may not feel comfortable attending playgroups and so Barnardos is able to offer other options.

“We are more than happy to do home visits,  to do the ‘3a’ training with the kids or do some educational work or the client can come into our office.

“We can meet at a park or just go for a coffee if clients are more comfortable with that,” Ms Scott said.

She said Barnardos has a vehicle, fitted with children’s car seats, which can pick up local families to help them access the playgroup or local office if, for example, they don’t have a vehicle or a driver’s licence.

“The services are open to everyone, not just indigenous families,” she said.

“Everyone is welcome, any culture.”

Ms Scott said Barnardos work with a
number of other local child services who all work together for the betterment of “the kids”.

“We’re open to everybody and I’m happy to meet anyone,” Ms Scott said.

You can find out more about all of Barnardos services online or through their Facebook page.